• The Itsasmuseum Bilbao Maritime Museum is the site of an action that aims to bring together companies, institutions and citizens the role of the train in the future of sustainable freight transport on 27 and 28 June.
  • The event comes from the Port Authority of Bilbao, CSP Spain, Mafex, Marcotran, Transfesa Logistics, Transportes y Grúas Aguado and Uniport.
  • Institutions and companies have come together to support this European initiative that seeks to raise awareness of the need to create a supply chain free of CO2 emissions, where rail is the central axis.

The Maritime Museum Itsasmuseum Bilbao hosted this morning the official inauguration of “Freight Belongs on rail” in the city, an itinerant European initiative that, after passing through Valencia, Alicante, Barcelona, Logroño, Algeciras, Madrid and other Portuguese cities such as Lisbon, arrives in Bilbao on 27 and 28 June.

The arrival of the container to this strategic place for the goods has been possible thanks to the impulse of Port Authority of Bilbao, CSP Spain, Mafex, Marcotran, Transfesa Logistics, Transports and Grúas Aguado and Uniport.

The aim of this new scale is to raise awareness among public institutions, the business sector and society, the importance of shifting freight from road to rail and short-haul multimodal maritime services to reduce CO2 emissions from the transport sector.

The initiative brings back to the table the need to raise public awareness of the importance of reducing transport pollution, which accounts for nearly 30% of total emissions in Europe. Emphasizing the urgency of betting on multimodality and the transfer of goods to the railway, with the goal of reaching the goals set for 2030.

In this sense, Samuel Nevado, Transport Director of the Transfesa Logistics Group recalled that transporting goods by rail manages to reduce up to 80% of CO2, causes 85 times less human damage and consumes 6 times less energy. In addition, he stressed the importance of Bilbao, one of the main logistical nodes of the peninsula, hosting the initiative.

It also took the opportunity to recall that, although Spain has set itself a more modest target than Europe, reaching a modal share of 10% by 2030 is a very ambitious target because it means more than doubling the current quota, which has stalled since rail liberalisation in 2005, at around 4%.

The reality of the railway in the Port of Bilbao is very different since 30% of the port containers use the train, the highest share in Spain as stated by Amaia Sarasola, Head of Marketing and Commercial Division of the Port Authority of Bilbao who adds that “The railway is a strategic element for the Port Authority of Bilbao that allows to offer multimodal services increasingly efficient and sustainable. Thanks to the development of a network of dry ports and the connection with the main freight generating centres through railway operators, the port offers to the industry and to the logistic companies alternative that improve their competitiveness and reduce their environmental impact. The “Freight Belongs on rail” initiative helps to value all these efforts.”

For her part, the director of UniportBilbao, Inmaculada Ugarteche, stressed that from Uniport, as representatives of the companies that make up the multimodal logistics cluster of the Basque Country, they support this initiative because “rail freight is a reality and has great potential, a potential that can contribute to much more sustainable logistics, to more efficient and effective logistics for both the logistics sector and shippers”. This is “a line of business that we promote from Uniport, so the conference and its associated exhibition are two excellent events that will make that reality and its potential more visible for both professionals and the general public, initiative to which we are pleased to join”.

CSP Spain has emphasized that “The Port of Bilbao, managed by CSP Spain, has established itself as a benchmark in rail freight transport, offering efficient and sustainable logistics solutions. CSP Spain’s participation in the «Freight to the Train» event in Bilbao underlines its commitment to promoting rail transport as a sustainable and efficient logistics solution. During this event, CSP Spain highlighted the importance of railways in improving the global supply chain and reaffirmed its commitment to the development of infrastructure and technologies that promote the use of rail transport.”

He added that “The commitment to rail transport is integrated into the strategy of the CSP Spain group. Since the constitution of this, investments have been made in this sense in all business units, since the investment in new machinery such as the ARMG in Bilbao, until the development of the CSP Iberian Rail Services unit the operator that has more than 4 operating corridors or the acquisition of the railway company CSP Logitren 2 years ago. Freight Belongs on rail is an initiative where as a company we must participate in order to put into operation and to settle all the benefits of the use of railway and to do it from a common sectorial perspective.

In the words of Ainara González, responsible for Commercial Policy and Institutional Relations of MAFEX, “Initiatives such as Freight to the train put the focus on this issue and on the opportunities that the railway offers. The commitment of our industry to this great challenge is absolute”. In addition, it reinforces the objective to achieve a point-to-point ground transport of people and goods transport sector decarbonized, and committed to the environment, safe and competitive. And is that “we must continue to raise awareness both public institutions and other private actors companies, of the need to combine rail and road to reduce CO2 emissions”.