customs brokerage, freight forwarding and truck transportation

European Rail Experiencing Serious Problems

: Transport

“Green” European Rail Made A Victim of Its Own Success 2017-11-03

Much has been written about the benefits of rail over other traditional modes of transport. Rail (or a combination of rail and truck known to us as intermodal or piggyback service) is much is more economical price-wise, consumes less fuel and results in lower greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) per revenue/tonne/kilometre (RTK) over truck.
 
As a result of these factors as well as social, governmental and regulatory pressure to adopt more environmentally friendly shipping practices many European shippers are turning to rail service over the more traditional truck in unprecedented numbers; growth in volume of traffic being sent by rail in the United Kingdom and Europe is apparently unprecedented.
 
The infrastructure that is necessary for rail is operating at levels that are said to exceed capacity. At the same time as railroads are experiencing serious problems and congestion (especially where there is an  exchange from one mode to the other such as when rail freight is handed over to an ocean terminal), the alternative of barge service (the next most carbon friendly and economical option that is relatively unknown in Canada, but is used heavily in Europe) is unable to handle the spillover from rail.
 
The structural problems with rail are causing delays in terms of weeks for some European shippers to secure space on trains.
 
Effects are also being felt in the rail service that is provided in connection with ocean freight (rail to vessel) and the unfortunate outcome of this noble move (to make more environmentally friendly transportation choices) is resulting in additional charges and costs that accrue for the account of cargo.
 
Please read more about this topic in an article from JOC.com.

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