Relaunching rail freight for green growth

French rail freight sector, shippers and industry, unite to express their deep concern about the financing and the implementation of a national strategy that truly embodies the rail freight in the perspective of green logistics.

Transport generates 31% of greenhouse gas emissions in France. Rail freight and combined rail-road transport are key levers for this transformation. For one tonne of goods transported, rail freight emits 9 times less CO2 and 8 times less harmful particles than road, and it consumes 6 times less energy.

Today, the political will to win back rail freight is finally here. Doubling the modal share of rail freight will be included in the French Climate Bill and it is expected that the national strategy for rail freight will affirm the necessary direction to accelerate the modal shift. However, to enter this phase of reconquest, the sector needs clarity, visibility, and coordination. The state said that it would not be the only one to finance the revival of rail freight. The question is who will co-finance the billion euros to invest in dedicated freight infrastructure?

Shippers and manufacturers, driven by the expectations of their customers, are determined to make the necessary efforts to green the logistics chain. However, without a long-term commitment from the state, putting the goods in the hands of rail is a risk. Without the promise of a modern, reliable network that reviews the priorities between travellers and freight and is well connected to logistics, river, port, road, and airport areas, none of stakeholders will have the means to achieve this ambition.

To see the article in French in LesEchos, please see here.