The project to produce this book on ‘Finished Vehicle Logistics by Rail in Europe’ was initiated during the ECG Land Transport Working Group meeting in January 2014. Initially it was suggested by the members of the group to prepare a short briefing paper about the current situation for rail freight and specifically for FVL by rail in Europe. It was to be a concise document explaining the complex nature of rail, its difficulties and challenges, main players, and their roles and responsibilities to be used by ECG’s members. However, it rapidly grew way beyond these simple objectives as you will see.
The first draft of the project was presented at the following Land Transport WG meeting which took place in May 2014. It received further support from the group and in order to gain more knowledge on specific rail technical issues it was decided that ECG should organise site visits with rail technical experts of ECG member companies at their railway operations sites. These were held with DB Schenker Rail Automotive in Frankfurt am Main, BLG Automotive in Bremerhaven, ARS Altmann in Wolnzach, and STVA in Valenton and Paris. As a result of these collaborations, and continuous research on various rail issues, the document was extensively enlarged.