The 2020 Report on Combined Transport was presented to the press on 28th October in Brussels

UIC Combined Transport Group publishes first results of the eighth bi-annual report providing a comprehensive overview of the current situation of combined transport in Europe in 2020 in collaboration with the International Union for Road-Rail Combined Transport – UIRR. The presentation of the report took place on 28th October 2020.

Majorie van Leijen, Editor-in-Chief of, guided through the press conference, hosting the panel speakers and welcoming over 70 participants from all over the world. A dedicated slot at the end of the conference was offered to the participants in order to discuss raised questions from different perspectives.

Land freight market has a huge importance for the European economy, environment and society

Sandra Géhénot, UIC Freight Director, highlighted the economic importance of the European land freight transport market. Its impact on the environment and society is significant. Therefore, it is vital for the sector to work together to drive modal shift towards sustainable transport solutions and rail is a key tool for this. Sandra Géhénot also underlined the 2020 Report is an example of the even closer cooperation with UIRR, since UIC Combined Transport Group – representing 80% of CT Railway Undertakings in Europe – and UIRR have been cooperating for many years now.

Comprehensive insights on market structures

Mathias Lahrmann, Managing Director of BSL Transportation Consultants, provided up-to-date information on rail/ road combined transport volumes for the year 2019 for all market segments and gathers the market participants’ assessment on market structures and future developments. Additionally, Mathias Lahrmann provided a zoom on the presentation of regional disparities between selected regions in Europe, as well as on intermodal loading units (ILU), which are examined with regard to their use in combined transport, and the role of terminals in the combined transport chain.

Combined transport market is facing numerous challenges

Those details need to be seen in the political context. Ralf-Charley Schultze, UIRR President, explained we are faced with the following situation: climate change, public concerns for air pollution caused by diesel engines, and unabated road congestion and a truck driver shortage have all directed the attention of European policymakers to Combined Transport. In the context of the European Green Deal, decarbonization and effectively countering the other challenges of our times (pandemic, social inclusion, etc.) cannot be achieved without a major impact on the way transportation is done today. Within the transport sector, when it comes to the longer distance freight segment, Combined Transport delivers.

CT market has increased up to more than 50% in the last ten years and market outlook is also positive

The press conference was closed by Eric Lambert, Chairman of the UIC Combined Transport Group. He highlighted the increased shares of rail freight and particularly of Combined Transport between 2009 to 2018, and especially international CT. In his view, CT with its growth figures is a key driver in order to achieve the 30by2030 objectives for the rail sector as a reliable system even in times of crisis. This is indorsed also by the positive outlook of the sector for 2022 to 2024 regarding volume and revenues. The mental shift must be the main key of the year 2021, the Year of Rail, as only a mental shift will lead to a modal shift. His statement was finished declaring Combined Transport is an integral part of the solution for encouraging a modal shift and ensuring that rail becomes the backbone of future mobility.

The “2020 Report on Combined Transport” will be published in the first half of November 2020.

The presentation for the press conference can be found here and on the UIC Website.


06. November 2020