ERFA, the increase in energy prices not only undermines the competitiveness of rail cargo transport, but also puts the survival of SMEs in the sector at risk
The association calls for a cap on energy prices for rail freight transport and calls for the recognition of the sector as a strategic service
September 15, 2022
They are difficulties that freight transport companies on rails have to face not in the long or medium term, nor short, but rather in the immediate having to - highlighted the European association - if they do not have sufficient energy purchased for 2022 and 2023, make sure immediately the energy supply to continue the operational activity in a time when, in some EU Member States, prices energy has increased tenfold in recent months. ERFA specified that in many cases, especially for the most small, this will involve the transfer of costs to the customers and, if this is not possible, the exit from the market of operators or, in some cases, even their failure. In addition - denounced the association - there are still Member States where railway undertakings cannot even access directly to the energy market and are totally dependent the purchasing decisions of infrastructure managers railway and their cost transfer mechanism.
The European Rail Freight Association also highlighted the existence of the real risk of a consolidation of the rail freight transport triggered by rising prices of energy, a risk that the association considers to be more pronounced in countries where incumbent railway operators have more favourable access to finance.
The association also warned that, in the absence of a roof maximum energy prices for rail freight transport, also the railway companies that have purchased energy for the remaining part of this year and for 2023 they will still be forced to introduce large increases in tariffs to be paid by the its customers as well as to limit their growth in new markets in order to limit energy consumption. This - has ERFA observed - will damage the capacity of the sector to grow in line with the objectives set out in the Strategy European for Sustainable and Smart Mobility.
It is therefore necessary - urged the association - that, as a short-term solution, the European Commission and the Member States take measures to limit energy prices in order to strategically important sectors such as rail transport of goods, while for a long-term solution it will be it is necessary to find a sustainable pricing mechanism of energy.
"Without support - explained the president of ERFA, Dirk Stahl - in this extreme situation, who is out of the our control, it will be difficult not to attend operators who will leave the market. Already from next month - ha added - the situation will become critical and is it is essential that action be taken at European and national level'.
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