Webinar discusses post-COVID situation for Brazilian freight railroads

Since the creation of Rede Ferroviária Federal S.A. (RFFSA) in March 1957, when nearly 20 Brazilian railroads were merged, and the subsequent privatizations of RFFSA’s regional operations between 1996 and 1998, there have not been any significant structural changes to the country’s railroads
Public Policy
10 July 2020
Webinar discusses post-COVID situation for Brazilian freight railroads

On July 14, FGV Transport will hold a webinar called “Brazilian Freight Railroads After COVID-19.” The event will be broadcast live, starting at 2 pm. The speakers will be the director of the National Land Transport Agency (ANTT), Alexandre Porto; Guilherme Pennin of Rumo Logística; and Vicente Abate of the Brazilian Railroad Industry Association (Abifer).

Since the creation of Rede Ferroviária Federal S.A. (RFFSA) in March 1957, when nearly 20 Brazilian railroads were merged, and the subsequent privatizations of RFFSA’s regional operations between 1996 and 1998, there have not been any significant structural changes to the country’s railroads.

Since they were privatized, the railroads have improved their productivity faster than GDP, making financial and technological investments that have increased their share of freight transportation in the country.

Output grew steadily to 407 billion ton-kilometers in 2018, before falling to 366 billion ton-kilometers in 2019. The Brazilian railroad system was expected to grow in 2020, before COVID-19 reached the country.

In this context, the railroad oversight and regulation process has an important role to play. This process began with Decree 1,832 of 1996, and these activities were later concentrated in ANTT, created by Law 10,233 of 2001, which is the forum in which the intentions of government, users and concession-holders are discussed and harmonized.

Given that railroads have limited operational flexibility and depend on other modes of transport to feed and interconnect with them, such as the predominant road network, which has also been significantly affected by the pandemic, its negative impact could be even greater and more widespread.

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