In the presence of Grand-Duke Henri, the official inauguration of CFL Cargo, a subsidiary of Arcelor and SNCFL, took place in the Rockhal in Esch/Alzette on 20 December 2006. This significant event is an important milestone for the continuation of the Luxembourg railway transport of goods, given the total liberalisation of rail freight in Europe effective 1 January 2007.
Transport Minister Lucien Lux, the chairman of the Arcelor Board of Directors Joseph Kinsch, the chairman of the SNCFL Board of Directors, Jeannot Waringo, SNCFL CEO Alex Kremer, the chairman of the CFL Cargo Board of Directors Marc Wengler, the mayor of Esch/Alzette (headquarters of the new company) Lydia Mutsch, as well as many public figures from the political and business arena were present at the ceremony.
Exactly one year after the signing of the Tripartite-agreement between the social partners, the Luxembourg state and the SNCFL, Transport Minister Lucien Lux presented CFL Cargo CEO Fernand Rippinger the railway licence as well as the safety certificate for the Luxemburg railway network. The Tripartite had sanctioned the 2005 restructuring plan for the freight section of the SNCFL and had approved the creation of a common company between Arcelor and SNCFL because this joint venture ensures the continuation of railway transport of goods in Luxembourg for the medium and long term.
The joint venture between CFL and its main client, the Arcelor group, guarantees the necessary transport volume for CFL Cargo to establish itself as a reference in the area of railway transport of goods in the greater SaarLorLux region. The strong industrialisation of the region as well as the favourable strategic position at the crossroads of the North-South and East-West axes represent additional advantages of the new company.
The foundation of CFL Cargo enables Arcelor and CFL to develop new operational synergies. The merger of the internal transportation departments improves the efficiency of the transport connections, which has enormous advantages for the clients of the greater SaarLorLux region in the steel industry and other industries. The combination of the rail freight experience of CFL with the commercial experience of Arcelor makes it possible to offer the client a competitive and client-oriented service in short and long haul traffic.
The creation of CFL Cargo is also beneficial for the environment – truck traffic produces five times more CO2 emissions than railway transport of goods. The transfer of a great part of the freight volume from the highways to rail leads to an improvement of highway traffic safety in the greater region because the volume of trucks and the risk of accidents are reduced as a whole.
With more than 340 employees, a fleet of about 40 locomotives as well as 3,000 wagons, CFL Cargo has now become an unavoidable provider of rail freight in the greater region.