The European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO) and the European Federation of Inland Ports (EFIP) have issued a joint position paper calling for adequate rail links and efficient rail operations within the ports.
The paper is focused on five main principles that emphasize the implementation of the EU legislative rail framework under which the diversity of rail governance systems in ports needs to be reflected to avoid a one-size-fits-all approach. The associations call for efficient rail operations and links to and from the ports, as well as for the investments on the development of the last-mile connections.
The position paper says that, to incentivise the use of rail transport, port managing bodies should remain free to choose an integrated or separate rail charging model, as long as it is transparent and non-discriminatory for the rail users. This autonomous charging principle has been laid down in the adopted Port Services Regulation (EU) 2017/352.
The two associations also highlight the importance of rail freight transport on the environmental issues, including on the reduction of road congestion in densely populated areas, as sea and inland ports are predominantly situated nearby urban agglomerations.