Hupac: Concerns over proposed rail freight cost increases amid economic uncertainty

Hupac: Concerns over proposed rail freight cost increases amid economic uncertainty

The company argues that any price increases for rail transport could further shift freight back to the road, counteracting efforts to promote a modal shift towards greener transport methods.

Switzerland-based rail freight operator Hupac has expressed concern over proposed changes to rail freight costs, citing economic uncertainties and the potential impact on modal shift. In a statement on the partial revision of the FOT ordinance on railway network access (NZV-BAV), Hupac highlighted the challenges facing the European economy, including the conflict in Ukraine and rising energy prices, which have led to increased production costs and reduced disposable income.

Hupac stressed the importance of keeping rail competitive, especially in difficult economic times. Increasing infrastructure costs, as proposed in the revision, would be counterproductive to a modal shift. The company argued that rail should remain an attractive option for shippers, even if road prices fall due to lower demand.

The main concern with the revision is the proposed 18.5% increase in the wear factor, in addition to rising energy costs. For freight transport, especially for heavy trains, these elements represent a significant part of the infrastructure costs. Hupac warned that such increases could lead to price increases of around 30%, making rail freight less competitive with road transport.

To support the modal shift and relieve the infrastructure, Hupac proposed several measures, including maintaining the current wear and tear price, continuing the reduction for traction current, capping the weight-based track access price elements, increasing incentives for long trains, maintaining the noise bonus and revising the cancellation fee regulation.

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