Ralf-Charley Schultze: doubling rail freight transport until 2050 means tripling combined transport

Karel Novak, Published on 11/07/2022
Ralf-Charley Schultze: doubling rail freight transport until 2050 means tripling combined transport
Ralf-Charley Schultze, General Manager and Chairman of UIRR

General Manager and Chairman of UIRR: his views on the actual challenges in railway transport


During the 48th congress of the INTERNATIONAL RAIL FREIGHT BUSINESS ASSOCIATION (IBS) e.V. in Vienna, RAILMARKET.com interviewed Ralf-Charley Schultze, President of the International Union for Road-Rail Combined Transport (UIRR)

Ralf-Charley sees that rail logistics within the next ten years has to be much more innovative than today. 

„We have momentum today. And this momentum is related to the new legislation that the European Commission will be proposing next year. It will also be about Combined Transport, the low-hanging fruit for railways in the future because only Combined Transport will permit to achieve the ambitious climate goals of the European Commission. The climate goals say that we need carbon neutrality in 2050 and we need in 2030 to be “Fit for 55”, which means a 55% reduction in CO2 emissions. If you want to double rail freight until 2050 it means tripling combined transport until 2050,“ Ralf-Charley clarified EU environmental policy.

According to him, the conventional business will not grow as fast as combined transport, which is the engine for growth.

„We have a capacity reserve of 15 – 20 percent due to the non-satisfactory quality at this very moment. We have a problem with punctuality, with quality and of course, we have a huge problem today concerning the infrastructure and the works on the infrastructure networks, which are not managed in the right way. We need better coordination of the works. And if you achieve better management of all these works, you will have better infrastructure and in ten years you might be ready,“ he added.

Ralf-Charley Schultze started to work within the Railways sector in 2004 when he was responsible for the development of Combined Transport, new vehicle logistics, and partner management at SBB Cargo in Basel. In 2009 he moved to GEFCO in the position of Multimodal Logistics Director and since 2014 he has been General Manager and Chairman of UIRR. 

Created in 1970, the International Union for Road-Rail Combined Transport (UIRR) is the industry association for the sector of Combined Transport in Brussels.  Its members are Combined Transport Operators and Combined Transport Terminals. UIRR actively promotes Combined Transport, primarily towards European decision-makers, and facilitates the enhancement of the sector while supporting the daily functioning of this ecologically and economically sustainable mode of long(er) distance freight transport.

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