(Munich, 12 May 2011) Xrail, a production alliance launched in February 2010 by seven European railfreight operators to bolster international wagonload services, is delivering positive results: Starting in autumn 2010, some 10 percent of all European wagonload transport services carried out on 150 routes between the partners were being executed to Xrail standards by the end of 2010. And by the end of this year, the number of service routes on offer is scheduled to triple to 450. In this way, the alliance seeks to achieve some 25 percent market coverage within the European wagonload network. This share is expected to rise to up to 40 percent next year.
Xrail offers customers reliable, service-focused wagonload carriage throughout Europe – with improved transparency of data availability from start to finish.
"The alliance will advance reliable railfreight services in Europe and sustainably improve the competitiveness of our railways", notes Ferdinand Schmidt, Chairman of Xrail's Supervisory Board. "With Xrail, the market share for wagonload services and European railfreight carriage as a whole will grow in future. Uniform production standards will increasingly replace older manual processes marked by exceptions."
Jacques Koch, General Manager of ArcelorMittal Purchasing and a customer of Xrail, is convinced by Xrail's quality and performance criteria: "Wagonload services are a key element in supply chains, and hence decisively important to the growth of European industry. Xrail addresses issues that are extremely important to customers, namely how to enhance reliability and performance while improving transparency. These two prerequisites are essential to ensuring the survival of wagonload services in Europe, and to maintaining a European economy that stays competitive in the long term."
Transparent data availability at a sustained, uniform level before, during and after shipments serves to keep customers better informed. Customers are thus informed for example of delays affecting the planned transport schedules of individual wagons. Up to now, this has not been possible. Railfreight operators outside the Xrail network also benefit from receiving more precise date and time information when deviations in transport schedules occur. "We especially value the transparency and future options that this Alliance offers, which helps us in our planning", remarks Markus Helg, Head of International Transport at Xrail customer Migros.
The alliance is comprised of seven European railfreight operators, namely CD Cargo (Czech Republic), CFL cargo (Luxembourg), DB Schenker Rail (Germany), Green Cargo (Sweden), Rail Cargo Austria (Austria), SNCB Logistics (Belgium) and SBB Cargo (Switzerland). Xrail works to improve the quality of currently available cargo services, for example by simplifying the use of available resources and developing shared capacity management. As Ferdinand Schmidt states, "in our second phase, we will expand this range of services and market coverage for our customers."
Xrail was initiated in Paris under the direction of the International Union of Railways (UIC), which developed and drafted international production standards, the necessary IT tools, quality improvement measures and the alliance agreement. In February 2010, a unique production alliance for international wagonload services was founded, comprising the railfreight operators CD Cargo, CFL cargo, DB Schenker Rail, Green Cargo, Rail Cargo Austria, SNCB Logistics and SBB Cargo. Pilot projects were launched between the alliance partners in autumn 2010.
The alliance seeks to significantly increase the competitiveness of rail-based wagonload services in Europe by working jointly towards improving the quality of wagonload carriage throughout Europe.
Xrail is introducing cross-border production standards which customers of wagonload services can benefit from in three major areas: Reliability (at least 90% of international wagonload carriage executed within the Xrail network), transparency (international timetables from siding to siding, active information systems), and its offer process (standard inquiries processed within a maximum of three days). In September 2010, the participating railfreight operators established a company headquartered in Brussels.
Further information on Xrail and wagonload services can be found at: www.xrail.eu.
About CFL cargo
CFL cargo came into existence through the merger of the freight section of the Luxembourg National Railroad Company CFL and the internal transportation department of the Luxembourg mills of the world's number one steel company ArcelorMittal. This allows CFL cargo to benefit from the parent companies' extensive experience in the domains of railway operations, client service and safety.
The strategic location at the heart of Europe enables CFL cargo to operate the main European North-South and East-West routes in cooperation with its subsidiaries CFL cargo Deutschland, CFL cargo Danmark and CFL Fret Services France. In addition, CFL cargo offers feeder traffic service in the SaarLorLux region and in Northern Germany / Denmark.
With more than 480 employees and a fleet of 60 locomotives and 4000 wagons, CFL cargo offers customer-oriented services: whether it be regional or international freight transport, the rental of wagons, the formation of complete trains, the issuing of waybills or the maintenance of wagons.
Tel : 352-2481-4713