Opportunities presented by Brexit
International traffic remains an area where DB Cargo is optimistic for growth, and Chief Executive Hans-Georg Werner says Brexit could offer opportunities.
Speaking exclusively to RAIL, Werner said: “The Channel Tunnel was, I think, supposed to have 30,000 trains per year? We run approximately 2,000. We are using 15% of the tunnel. I would be happy to do more.
“Brexit could be an opportunity. Customs clearance is an issue. Dover could be blocked by trucks, whereas we can bring trains in - sealed - through the tunnel. Customs can be at terminal at Barking, and it would be much more structured and organised.”
Werner said the impact of Brexit on DBC would be small, as only 4% of its business runs through the Channel Tunnel. He believes ports will present problems due to customs, while he also has concerns that companies will leave the UK once it withdraws from the European Union next year.
“‘We don’t know’ is not a good answer, so we created a working group for Brexit. What could be the impact? How can we solve it? Customers are asking, and we cannot say we don’t know. At the moment we have European agreements with other operators, but after Brexit we have to make bilateral deals. In France we hand over to Euro Cargo Rail, which is one of our businesses.”
Werner said the Rail Delivery Group was also looking at the situation, to help the freight industry.
“I have a vision, running parcels and mail trains from London to Paris. Why fly it? It might be quicker after Brexit, too?”