JOINT OPEN LETTER ON DISTURBANCES TO EUROPEAN SUPPLY CHAINS DUE TO UNAVAILABILITY OF GERMAN RAIL NETWORK
On 30 November, a group of railway stakeholders, including CLECAT, issued a joint letter to the European Commission, the German Federal Ministry of Transport & Digital Infrastructure, and DB Netz, concerning the effects of the disturbances on the German Rail Network on European Supply Chains.
The signatories to the letters, including railway undertakings, intermodal operators, shippers, freight forwarders, wagon keepers, raised serious concern regarding the amount, gravity and length of disturbances the industry has been facing since the last two weeks on the German rail network, which, joined with a lack of alternative capacity being made available, has led to a situation where rail freight in and travelling through Germany on main corridors is coming to a near standstill.
Many parts of the system – particularly along Rail Freight Corridor Rhine Alpine – have been unable to function efficiently and dozens of international freight trains had to be either parked and/or were heavily delayed. This creates a problem of a European dimension, as the German rail infrastructure network of DB Netz is central to European rail freight transportation. With six of the nine rail freight corridors transiting through Germany, the current situation therefore has the potential to cause significant reputational and economic damage to European rail freight.
The situation for EU rail freight is critical and immediate action of DB and DB Netz is needed. Therefore, to ensure the good functioning of rail freight supply chains, the association requested a number of actions to be taken as soon as possible, including better coordination at international level, equal rights for freight and passengers in the planning phase of capacity restrictions, more intensive monitoring of construction works, as well as clear contingency plans and strong commitments for providing alternative capacity.
The joint letter and the full set of requested actions can be found here.