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Second Eurasian Connectivity and Industrial Cooperation forum - Making today’s freight transport system work for business, Brussels 21st nov 2018


The Second Eurasian Connectivity and Industrial Cooperation Forum was organised by FERRMED in Brussels on 21 November and was focussed on the trans-Eurasian Silk Road railway land bridge and new challenges in infrastructure routes, operation and rolling stock.

The Forum at Brussel’s BEL Conference Centre drew representatives and experts from noteworthy institutions, associations and companies from across Eurasia. The Forum’s conclusion was presented at the European Parliament on 22 November.

The Forum builds on two July 2018 events in China of major import for world logistics:

  • The 20th EU-China Summit in Beijing. FERRMED welcomed the Summit’s Joint Statement and is in full accord with the EU-China Connectivity Platform initiative.
  • The First Eurasian Connectivity and Industrial Cooperation Forum, jointly organised by FERRMED and the People’s Government of Zhengzhou.

The Forum also builds on and is fully in line with the European Parliament resolution of 12 September 2018 on the state of EU-China relations.

Supporting China’s Belt and Road Initiative and European Policy

From now on, the Eurasian Connectivity and Industrial Cooperation Forum will be held twice a year – once in Europe and once in China – to develop guidelines and promote corresponding actions in a business-focussed approach to achieving the goals of both China’s Belt and Road Initiative and the European Union’s own policy on sustainable connectivity between Europe and Asia.

To accomplish the objectives of the Forum, FERRMED is working with related associations and partners on the following issues:

  • Enhancement of the trans-European and trans–Eurasian rail freight system, considering socio-economic ABC criteria to focus on the busiest EU core network corridors and main trans-Eurasian main routes.

Within the European Union, identification in a first stage of some 6000 km of routes comprising a backbone rail network that carries 30% of the EU core network’s traffic and in a second stage a further 9000-10,000 km of routes for a total 15,000 km comprising an extended backbone network rail carrying about 60% of the EU core network’s traffic.

  • Launch of the FERRMED Multisectoral Working Groups (FMWGs) in collaboration with other key associations such as CCTT, OSJD and UIC.

The FMWGs will conclude agreements with these associations to exchange information. The FMWGs will concentrate their efforts on the following goals:

  • Progressive increase of train length frm 740 m to 1,500 m
  • Efficiency and versatility of intermodal terminals
  • Loading-gauge enlargement
  • Rolling-stock improvements, including a new wagon concept
  • Track-gauge compatibility and resolution of main bottlenecks
  • Creation and consolidation of efficient train routes between strategic trans-Eurasian terminals
  • Identification of the strategic trans-Eurasian logistics hubs and corresponding strategic trans-Eurasian terminals, intermediate terminals, local terminals and gauge-break terminals.
  • Creation of conditions allowing connection of strategic Trans-Eurasian terminals with trains that are both long and compact, i.e. allow high longitudinal utilisation so as to carry the greatest possible number of TEUs or other loading units.
  • To promote the Strategic Trans-Eurasian Logistics Hubs Platform in order to pursue smart and green city logistics throughout Eurasia.

The Forum’s main targets are:

  • Optimisation of multimodal transport flows
  • Drastic improvement of lead/transit time (50%) and punctuality
  • Cost reduction of 25%
  • Freight trains able to carry more than 200 TEUs
  • 50% increase in line capacity
  • Reduction of in-transit and destination inventories of 20 to 50%
  • Wagon tare reduction of 2 tonnes, with corresponding payload increase
  • Strong cutback in greenhouse-gas emissions
  • Creation and consolidation of efficient freight-train routes between strategic trans-Eurasian multimodal terminals
  • Achievement of a socio-economic internal rate of return of 11%

Optimisation of the trans-Eurasian global logistic chain requires a business-oriented approach

Participants agreed that significant development of freight railway infrastructure in Europe requires prioritising projects in line with business-oriented, socioeconomic criteria.

The FERRMED association is steadily acquiring new members across Eurasia. It has developed good contacts with the Chinese authorities and Russian associations that promote rail transport. It is now working to select and develop strategic trans-Eurasian terminals in the EU, Russia, Kazakhstan and China and to bring about conditions allowing long and efficient trains to connect them.

For further information please contact,

Assumpta Torrent

Communication & Institutional Relationship Manager


Phone: +34 933 172 026 / Cell: +34 645 398 229