New legal conditions for Europe to Asia rail freight
Ministers from 37 countries have signed a joint declaration to create ‘a unified set of transparent and predictable’ legal conditions for international rail freight transported between Europe and Asia.
The new agreement, which took place during a ministerial meeting in Genève, will create a common legal regime for rail traffic ‘from the Atlantic to the Pacific’, which will be equivalent to the regimes for competing road, air and water transport.
The planned general conditions of transport for Euro-Asian rail transport, known as GTC EurAsia, would include a common consignment note and 'to the extent possible' a single liability regime.
Ministers claimed that 'further steps should be taken to facilitate the conclusion of Euro-Asian rail transport contracts,’ in recognition of the progress made by the Intergovernmental Organisation for International Carriage by Rail, Organisation for Co-operation between Railways and the International Rail Transport Committee towards the development of a common consignment note.
Operators, associations and other stakeholders have been invited to co-operate in the development of GTC EurAsia, which is supported by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe.
Signatories include Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Mongolia, Netherlands, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Turkey, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.
Source: Railway Gazette
Uber Freight to Acquire Transplace in $2.2bn Deal
Uber Freight is to acquire logistics technology and solutions provider Transplace in a deal worth $2.25bn.
The company will pay up to $750m in common stock and the remainder in cash to TPG Capital, Transplace’s private equity owner, pending regulatory approval and closing conditions.
“This is a significant step forward, not just for Uber Freight but for the entire logistics ecosystem,” said Lior Ron, Head of Uber Freight, and former founder of the Uber-owned trucking start-up Otto.
Uber’s Big Play for Supply Chain
Transplace is one of the world's largest managed transportation and logistics networks, with 62,000 unique users on its platform and $11bn in freight under management. It offers truck brokerage and other capacity solutions, end-to-end visibility on cross border shipments, and a suite of digital solutions and consultancy services.
The purchase is the latest move by parent company Uber, which launched as a San Francisco cab-hailing app in 2011, to diversify its offering and create new revenue streams in all transport segments.
Transplace said the takeover comes amid a period of “accelerated transformation in logistics”, where globalisation, shipping and transport disruption, and widespread volatility are colliding.
Uber Freight plans to integrate the Transplace network into its own platform, which connects shippers and carriers in a dashboard that mirroring the intuitive experience found in its consumer vehicle booking and food ordering services.
“This is an opportunity to bring together complementary best-in-class technology solutions and operational excellence from two premier companies to create an industry-first shipper-to-carrier platform that will transform shippers’ entire supply chains, delivering operational resilience and reducing costs at a time when it matters most,” said Ron.
Frank McGuigan, CEO of Transplace, said the resulting merger will offer enhanced efficiency and transparency for shippers, and benefits of scale for carriers. “All in all, we expect to significantly reduce shipper and carrier empty miles to the benefit of highway and road infrastructures and the environment,” he added.
History of Uber Freight
Uber Freight was established in 2017 and separated into its own business unit the following year. In 2019 the company had expanded across the entire continental US, established a headquarters in Chicago. Later that year it launched its first international division in Europe, initially from a regional foothold in the Nertherlands, and later moving into Germany.
The logistics spinoff attracted a $500m investment from New York-based Greenbriar Equity Group in October 2020, and launched a new shipping platform for companies of all sizes in May, partly in response to a driver shortage in Canada.