Railports Carex

EURO CAREX : Cargo Rail Express

Principles › Service operation

The reservation principle

The feasibility study conducted initially by Roissy Carex in 2006 has paved the way for future Carex clients to adopt an operating structure based on the ‘reservation' principle.

  • Each operator reserves a certain level of freight capacity between two CAREX railports on the basis of fixed departure and arrival times that are guaranteed by the rail operator. Reservations are made for at least one year ahead. This capacity is expressed in terms of multiples of aircraft pallets, the day of the week, outward and/or return journey.
  • Capacity reserved but not used may be sub-let by the freight operator to another operator.
  • In the event of surplus train capacity, the rail operator will be responsible for sourcing additional freight: from partner freight operators in the first instance, and from other operators, if necessary.


Freight operators foresee the following as reservation criteria:

  • Substitution of existing and/or future air services and the imposition of strict time limits on air movements => approximately 100% of demand met by CAREX trains
  • Substitution of existing and/or future road services, enabling optimum train payloads => less than 100% of demand met by CAREX trains, with this source being used to fill any spare capacity
  • Retention of trains with the correct reservation rate
  • Consolidation on the basis of journey times, prices, regulatory constraints, etc.


Three CAREX services

The outcome of the market survey commissioned in 2009 by Lyon Carex has enabled definition of the principle underpinning the range of Carex transport services. At this stage, the range contains 3 services: express, rapid and deferred:

  • The "Express" service operates for reserved freight flows on the assigned train, with next-day delivery, guaranteed lead times and flexible volume commitment. This new high-speed, eco-friendly service is set at a high price point and is intended to capture freight flows from aircraft and vans, as well as new HGV flows
  • The "Rapid" service operates for reserved freight flows on the assigned train, with next-day delivery and guaranteed lead times, but with the possibility that flows may not travel on the assigned service, depending on train capacity. Where this is the case, notification will be made not later than 3 p.m. or six hours before train departure in order that freight can be reassigned to an HGV service. The price point of this service is lower than that for the Express service, and is designed primarily to capture trucked airfreight flows
  • The "Deferred" service is designed for freight flows travelling without reservation for delivery lead times of between one and three days, with no guaranteed lead time and availability governed by train capacity up to 2 days (yield management). This service is set at a low price point to attract freight flows currently travelling by HGV

(Source: Arthur D. Little for Lyon Carex - November 2009)

Meeting with Mercitalia representatives

Flux rss

A Euro Carex delegation met representatives of the Italian rail transport company Mercitalia, which will launch a high-speed railfreight service in Italy in October 2018.