Assessing the outlook for global rail freight in the 2020s. With its profile having been lifted by the coronavirus pandemic, rail freight plays a key role in maintaining global logistics chains. But freight applications differ markedly across the world, from heavy commodity traffic in Russia and North America to an increasing focus on intermodal operations in Europe. In this session, our diverse panel of specialists will examine the key trends.
Core topics we will address include:
- How can rail benefit from increased pressure to drive modal shift away from high pollution, labour-intensive modes?
- Can rail freight capitalise on its increased role in delivering consumer goods and supporting urban logistics during the coronavirus outbreak?
- In some major markets, rail freight operations are heavily dependent on diesel traction. Can operators develop viable alternatives where network-wide electrification is not affordable?
- How can rail freight thrive in a macro-economic downturn? Which markets and commodities are likely suffer most, and where are there clear opportunities for rail?
- Innovation in operating practice is driving change across the sector, typified by the adoption of Precision Scheduled Railroading in North America. How are these trends reshaping the future of the business, and can we be optimistic that they will lead to improved economics and more traffic?
Moderator: Nick Kingsley, Managing Editor, Railway Gazette International