22 Juni 2014

[220614.EN.LOG] French Rail Freight Expected To Normalise As Will To Strike Fades

A ROBUST private French rail sector appears to have undermined the will to strike of state railway workers and many expect normal rail freight conditions to resume this week, reports Lloyd's Loading List.

"Business as usual is not far off," said Jean-Yves Plisson, head of road-rail industry association, Groupement National des Transports Combines (GNTC). "Not being dependent on SNCF has helped, with operators also having switched to road,"

"Roughly 50 per cent of scheduled 'intermodal' trains operated in the early days of the strike, and earlier this week this had risen to 60-80 per cent," said Mr Plisson.

But state-owned Fret SNCF (Societe Nationale des Chemins fers) continued to advise customers to postpone shipments until further notice.

The strike that started June 11 was called to protest to the government's rail reforms, which were debated in parliament this week.

SNCF said EUR160 million (US217.5 million) was the global cost of the strike, which includes a compensation package to passengers of EUR45 million. But there has been no word on compensation for shippers.

Source : HKSG.

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