Wednesday 16 November 2022

Fit for Freight month

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The Fit for Freight month was organised by the UIC Freight team to present its newly developed competence centres and to showcase its core activities and future projects. The competence centres are developed to better serve and deliver more services to members.

The grand opening was held on 2 November and introduced by Sandra Gehenot, UIC Freight Director, and François Davenne, UIC General Director, who explained the close link of the mission and vision of UIC and its Freight department.

His message was fully supported by UIC Chair, Krzysztof Mamiński: “The development of freight, an increase in rail cargo transport and maximum interoperability are the most crucial points on the agenda of the International Union of Railways. UIC freight month is an important event for the whole industry – a forum for sharing ideas and experiences.

Clemens Först, CEO Rail Cargo Group, in his role as Chair of the Freight Forum and founding father of the European Rail Freight Forward, positioned rail freight as the only real sustainable mode of transport and a key part of the global solution to a climate-neutral transport system. “UIC plays a central role when it comes to delivering the rail freight vision.

The competence centres were introduced via two podcasts. The first was dedicated to wagon utilisation and featured Nicolas Czernecki, Chair of the UIC Wagon Utilisation group, and the other, on international freight corridors, featured Joost Overdijkink from the UIC Freight team. Both were hosted by Philip Van den bosch, UIC Senior Freight Advisor.

The first session, focused on data exchange, was held online on 3 November and moderated by Sandra Gehenot. She gave the floor to Carel Jonckheere, who presented the UIC RailData special group and its tools, which are core elements for the digitalisation of international rail transport.

Presentations were given on:

  • UIC coding assets by Parinaz Bazeghi, UIC Senior Freight Advisor.
  • Standardised messages on consignment note data, wagon movement, train running information, and support for legal framework (TAF TSI) by Jürgen Hiller, DB Cargo AG.

The second session, dedicated to load safety, was held online on 4 November and hosted by Philip Van den bosch, and welcomed many representatives of the rail sector.

Following an overview of the UIC Loading Guidelines introduced by Hakan E. Gunel, Senior Freight Advisor, Thomas Üblauer, Rail Cargo Group, explained the loading principles and their correct application. He presented the loading irregularities and loading guidelines for combined transport. Guillaume Murawa, from the International Rail Transport Committee (CIT), provided the legal framework ensuring safe loading by CIT and talked about the contract carriage, giving examples of practical cases to deal with potential problems encountered.

Frédéric Henon, UIC Head of Operations and Safety, underlined that the European Union Agency for Railways designated the UIC Loading Guidelines as an Acceptable Means Of Compliance (AMOC) on safety of load.

On 9 November, the 8th edition of the Combined Transport Report, jointly issued by UIC and UIRR was presented as part of an in-person event at UIC Headquarters. Welcome speeches were given by Philip Van den bosch; Eric Lambert, Chair of the UIC Combined Transport Group; and Ralf Charley Schultz, CEO UIRR.

Tim Breemersch from Transport and Mobility Leuven presented the results of the 8th Combined Transport Report. He reflected on the increasing importance of intermodal trains within rail freight and made the point that it also ensured transport policymakers and railway decisionmakers better understood the strong capabilities and unique needs of combined transport.

In this edition, the combined transport sector was highlighted within both a European and global context. The focus was on three topics: digitalisation, cost chain analysis, and the revision of the Weight and Dimensions Directive.

In the afternoon, UIC and UIRR organised sessions on innovation, cargo loading and securing within the combined transport context.

Watch the morning and afternoon sessions of the day here:

See the aftermovie:

All the presentations will be available soon.

Our sponsors are ERMEWA SA and Dassault Systèmes

Register here for upcoming next events by the end of the month:

For further information, please contact Philip Van den bosch, UIC Senior Freight Strategy Advisor, at

or Martin Polák, Freight Advisor and RFF PMO at

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Presentation of the 8th edition of the Combined Transport Report
Grand opening
First session: RailData - Digitalisation
Second session: Load safety