By any measure, the rail freight industry has flourished since privatisation 20 years ago. The amount of freight carried by rail has increased by around two thirds, reversing the long-term decline. Significant investment in trains and track has improved services. And the network has become far more efficient.
Those of you visiting the NEC Birmingham on 29th and 30th of April and the 1st of May are in for a treat. This year the Commercial Vehicle Show and Multimodal take place in different halls at the venue on those dates, so it is a great two-for-one experience for the sector.
Both events are free to attend and you can register online. This edition of Freight Industry Times includes reports on both gatherings which are totally independent of each other. Coverage will continue online and in our newsletters while the next edition will review the success of each event.
As many had predicted, in his Autumn Statement the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced the cancellation of the fuel duty rise scheduled for September 2014 and a freeze on any increase until May 2015 – the month of the next general election. George Osborne promoted the measure as helping motorists and businesses while the economy continues its recovery.
Today’s maritime transport trends reveal that the sector accounts for 80% of the volume of global trade and that global supply chains are growing faster than GDP. Over the past four decades seaborne shipments have increased at an average of 3% per annum. As far as the types of cargoes carried we are now seeing considerable expansion in the transportation of dry bulk and liquids, container shipments and the five major bulk commodities.