VPI Chairman Malte Lawrenz re-elected amidst growth of association

Posted: 24 June 2024 | | No comments yet

Malte Lawrenz has been re-elected Chairman of VPI, with the association seeing record growth to 300 member companies amidst discussions on future infrastructure challenges.

VPI Chairman Malte Lawrenz re-elected amidst growth of association

Credit: VPI

In Düsseldorf, the Association of Freight Wagon Owners in Germany e.V. (Verband der Güterwagenhalter in Deutschland e. V. – VPI) held its general meeting, where Malte Lawrenz had unanimously been reconfirmed as chairman for another three-year term. This decision comes as the association celebrates a record membership of 300 companies, marking significant growth and support for its initiatives within the rail freight industry.

“I am grateful for the overwhelming support of our members and look forward to continuing our efforts to strengthen rail transport,” Lawrenz said following his re-election. He emphasised the association’s commitment to enhancing services for member companies and advocating their interests in national policymaking.

Under Lawrenz’s leadership, the association plans to expand its focus on innovation, digitalisation and efficiency, with projects like the digital automatic coupling gaining traction. Notably, the association’s service arm, VERS, plays a pivotal role in the European consortium DACFIT, which aims to advance new coupling technologies across Europe.

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However, amidst these advancements, Lawrenz voiced concern over proposed increases in track charges over the coming years. He criticised these hikes as potentially hindering the government’s goal of increasing freight rail usage, cautioning that such measures could steer traffic back towards less sustainable road transport.

In addition to Lawrenz’s re-election, the general meeting had seen the reappointment of five deputy chairmen, including industry leaders from BASF, GATX and Ermewa, along with the election of Florian Schuhmacher from VTG. The advisory board, comprising 15 members, also underwent elections, welcoming new voices to bolster the association’s strategic direction.

Looking ahead, the association will host its 24th Technical Information Event (TIV), expected to draw over 220 participants keen on updates in intermodal transport and advancements in wheel set technology. The event, organised by the VPI’s Technical Commission, promises insightful discussions and showcases of cutting-edge technologies in rail freight maintenance.

The re-election of Malte Lawrenz and the association’s expanding influence underscore a pivotal moment for Germany’s rail freight sector, signalling a concerted effort to innovate and navigate challenges in infrastructure and policy effectively.

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