2017 July 21
(Pavel Ivankin, Director General, Rail Transport Research Institute - On how amendments to the Federal Law on Seaports to influence interaction of ports and railways )
- The amendments provide for establishment of rights and obligations of railway carriers and operators of sea terminals. They outline the terms for a contract regulating their cooperation and setting of norms.
Clear criteria and norms will certainly increase responsibilities of the parties.
At the same time, the challenges of interaction between seaports and railways are deeply rooted. Сompeting accusations can be heard every year at different platforms, joint conferences and meetings.
The accusations mirror each other: irregular approach of trains, non-compliance with daily norms of handling/unloading, etc.
Unfortunately, I’m not sure the amendments will let solve those problems.
Unified operational procedures have been signed and approved long time ago but they are not performed.
For the process stabilization it is necessary to establish local logistics centers for ships and trains’ approach analysis in the context of cargo range and shipload and planning of dispatching in the context of cargo owners and cargo range, control of movements, analysis of weather conditions, etc.
Of course, the new law sets forth additional but not new rules. Compliance with them depends on the will of people accustomed to a blame game. In some ports there are examples to follow, their teams operate efficiently and wagon turnover is running like clockwork. They are mostly monoports dealing with one or several types of cargo. Anyway, there are positive examples and they should be copied at all ports. The new law provides additional opportunities for that with a little left to do – to execute the law.
Comment contributed to IAA PortNews