Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, Directeur-Général de l’UIC

Ladies and gentlemen,

The integration of rail freight in global logistics systems has become a major focus of development for UIC member railway companies. The strategic objectives consist in optimising rail’s role in the multimodal transport chain and developing valuable synergies with shipping companies, ports, intermodal operators and all players involved in the global logistics system.

It is with the aim of discussing these prospects and current developments concerning logistics systems that UIC and the Moroccan National Railways (ONCF) are working in close collaboration to organise the 3rd Global Rail Freight Conference (GRFC), scheduled to be held from 17 – 19 October in Tangier. The conference will be held under the high patronage of the Moroccan Authorities.

This 3rd global conference follows the first two GRFC successfully held in Delhi (2007) and in St Petersburg (2010). Both events attracted several hundred participants, including all the main stakeholders from the freight and logistics sectors (the representatives of 40 countries took part in the 2010 conference hosted in Russia).

This global conference will constitute a key milestone in UIC’s calendar of events in 2012.

The central theme of the conference will be “Railway transport – what role does it play in the development of global logistics?” A host of high-level speakers representing the political and economic sectors, international institutions, railways, ports and intermodal operators, and trade and industry, will hold round table discussions and sessions on key themes such as international freight corridors, intermodality between maritime and rail transport, technological innovations for logistics and Morocco: a bridge between Europe and Africa?, etc. Optimising the supply chain through the introduction of new technologies will also be a topic addressed in depth.

On behalf of UIC, I am very much looking forward to welcoming you to Tangier in October 2012.

Yours faithfully,

UIC Director General


Mohamed Rabie Khlie, ONCF General Director and Chairman of UIC Africa Region

Dear colleagues,

It is with great honour and genuine pleasure that the National Office of Moroccan Railways (ONCFM) is working in close collaboration with the International Union of Railways (UIC) so that our country can host the third Global Rail Freight Conference (GRFC) in Tangier from 17 – 19 October. This conference follows the first two successful editions in Delhi in 2007 and Saint Petersburg in 2010.

The central focus for this 2012 edition of “What role for rail transport in the development of logistics activities?” comes at an appropriate juncture. Everyone agrees today that the integration of railway freight in international logistics systems represents, now more than ever, a vital strategic priority in the development and long-term prosperity of the railway system. This means, of course, working to maximise rail’s contribution to the multimodal transport chain and harnessing synergies between rail and other modes to achieve greater complementarity.

There is no doubt that the calibre of our high-level speakers and the breadth and depth of the carefully drafted programme will inspire wide participation, and will make our conference a genuine platform on which to discuss this significant issue. Furthermore, the chance to liaise with peers during round tables and scheduled sessions will enable us to highlight our experiences and concerns, thus leading to meaningful conclusions being drawn on the development of the international logistics system.

This is why, on behalf of the Kingdom of Morocco, we are delighted to welcome you to the aforementioned conference and hope that it will be productive, stimulating and successful.

Looking forward to welcoming you to Tangier, the city of the Strait.

Mohamed Rabie Khlie,
Chairman of UIC Africa