On 27 October in Tashkent (Uzbekistan), RZD President Vladimir Yakunin opened the 51st plenary session of the Council for Rail Transport of CIS and Baltic countries, involving the railway administration chiefs of the 1520 Area.
This year, the meeting is attended by executive committee representatives of the CIS and EurAsEC, and for the first time, UIC Director General Jean-Pierre Loubinoux. Uzbek Deputy Prime Minister Batyr Khodzhayev delivered a welcoming speech.
RZD President Vladimir Yakunin noted that the drop in business activity on world markets has had an impact on economic processes in CIS and Baltic countries, leading to a decline in freight transportation. During the first nine months of this year, the total volume of foreign-trade freight on international rail routes contracted by 18% compared to the same period of last year, to reach 1.35 billion tons.
A positive trend since the start of 2009 has been the monthly growth in freight transport on most rail networks. While freight in January was 71% of the level in the same month of last year, in June it was 82%, and in September 90%.
Vladimir Yakunin placed special emphasis on the development of information technology in the 1520 Area, as a key management tool and a condition for gaining competitive advantages on international routes.
“In recent years, railway administrations have created the necessary technical, methodical, legal, and organizational basis for providing information support to transportation work”, the company president said.
Russian Railways has already signed agreements with Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Belarus, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan on creating a system for the electronic exchange of data on freight transportation on international routes in line with international standards. An equivalent draft agreement with Uzbekistan has also been drawn up.
The practical realization of such work has progressed furthest in international freight between Russia and Finland. Electronic data is continually exchanged on Russian-Finnish waybills and on the movement of freight, taking into account the return of empty carriages from Finland.
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