On 6 April 2017, ESC organised a second joint workshop between shippers and railways on the competitiveness and attractiveness of rail freight. Discussions focused on the issues of reliability, with a request from shippers for more transparency, better customer care and improved performance, and last mile infrastructure and operations, which represent a big part of the costs of rail transport for shippers using conventional rail services. The group also reviewed and completed the draft action plan which will be finalised ahead of the meeting with rail freight CEOs on 4 May.
The joint workshop was followed by a meeting of the ESC railway transport council, where other hot topics such as railway noise and bans on noisy wagons, as well as involvement of end users in rail freight corridors were discussed.
The next meeting of the ESC RTC will take place on 14 June in Brussels. For more information or if you wish to join the group, please contact ESC RTC Manager Pauline Bastidon – firstname.lastname@example.org / 0032 478776674.
The 10th edition of Multimodal, the UK and Ireland’s premier freight transport, logistics and supply chain management event, took place from 4 to 6 April at the NEC in Birmingham, UK. Multimodal 2017 attracted almost 9,500 attendees, from all modes and all parts of the supply chain.
Participants were able to attend a range of seminars, some of which were provided by ESC’s member in the UK, the Freight Transport Association (FTA), and focused on topics as diverse as air cargo performance, megaships and maritime alliances, contracts of carriage and how to get the best out of your supplier when outsourcing, Brexit, the last mile in city logistics and the future of rail freight. Another highlight of Multimodal were the FTA Multimodal Awards, which took place on 4 April and recognised significant contributions in terms of carriers’ and 3PL’s performance and environmental efficiency.
The next edition of Multimodal will take place from 1 to 3 May 2018, at the NEC in Birmingham. For more information: http://www.multimodal.org.uk/
For many weeks now, ESC members have been expressing their concerns about the capacity crunch in Liner Shipping and the way ship owners handle it. To raise awareness, ESC publishes its first press release on 17 March 2017 on 17 March 2017 in which ESC describes the situation and invites both, authorities and ship owners, for a dialogue.
During ESC’s most recent and well attended Maritime Council held on 28 March 2017, the participants re-enforce their concerns as the situation always stays the same and ask for a more concrete action plan. ESC issues a second press release on 4 April 2017 underlining the problems experienced by shippers and providing a more concrete view on what ESC intends to do.
ESC is organising a second joint workshop with railways on ‘Rail freight competitiveness and attractiveness’ on 6 April, from 10.00 to 13.00, as part of the next ESC Railway Transport Council meeting.
This workshop will be open to all shippers that are members of national shippers’ associations and sectorial associations members of ESC, as well as direct members of ESC. It will also be attended by several railway undertakings members of CER, UIC and ERFA.
On 21 February, Denis Choumert, President of ESC, and Pauline Bastidon, ESC Rail Manager, attended a strategy meeting with rail freight corridors to discuss railway undertakings and shippers’ expectations with regard to the corridors. The meeting was also attended by several shippers members of ESC or its member associations, representatives from railway undertakings and representatives from each of the nine European rail freight corridors. ESC highlighted the need for more reliable rail freight services, more attractive lead times and greater flexibility, that would all need to be provided to shippers at an attractive price in order to encourage more shippers to make use of rail freight.
On 15 March 2017, FTA organised a conference called ‘Keep Britain Trading’ which focused on the trade and logistics implications of Brexit. The conference gathered more than 160 participants from industry, the press and various UK Government Departments.
A key highlight from the event was a keynote speech by the Rt Hon David Jones MP, Minister of State at the Department for Exiting the European Union (DExEU), who highlighted his vision of the UK as a global champion of free trade, noting that high-level dialogues with key trade partners had already started. He pressed industry to recognise that current arrangements would not continue in the future, but highlighted that the UK Government’s aim is to minimise additional red tape and ‘friction’. To this end, the UK Government wishes to negotiate a Free Trade Agreement with the EU allowing cross-border trade to be as frictionless as possible, as well as a new customs agreement with the EU. (more…)
IATA’s World Cargo Symposium took place in Abu Dhabi between the 14th and the 16th of March 2017. Three days of plenary sessions, parallel tracks on well defined topics; from high-level presentations about the state of play of Global Trade to micro-level aspects such as the effect of a Smart Unit Load Device (ULD) on the cost and efficiency of the supply chain, and of course many network opportunities. The European Shippers’ Council (ESC) was invited to participate significantly at the symposium and the ESC enthusiastically embraced this role.
The shippers’ active involvement was particularly seen in the debate about IATA’s shipper survey. The survey indicated that shippers are 70 percent satisfied with what air freight offers, that air freight’s competitiveness compared to other modes increased from 28 percent to 41 percent and so the dialogue between shippers and airlines. (more…)