ESC statement at ‘Business and governments for smarter freight’
The ESC was one of the main stakeholders paneling at a side event on the third day of the International Transport Forum (ITF) Annual Summit in Leipzig, May 20, 2016. Topic of the exchange within the panel and with the audience was how to achieve collaboration between industry and government for a greener and smarter freight transport.
Denis Choumert, ESC Chairman, made a strong stand for the need of more coordinated action between private and public to support smart freight in all inland transport modes, emphasizing that whereas automation of warehouses was a stake which the industry will bear alone, innovation towards autonomous road vehicles and smoothened traffic conditions which would be a definite trend in the years ahead would require on one side legislation to foster or permit such evolution and on the other side investments in IT and infrastructure.
He also gave concrete examples of the challenges in urban logistics for carriers and shippers transporting for their own account when regulatory bodies intend to deny city access to certain categories of vehicles without taking into account the technical or economical feasibility of such measures, such as the ban of the city of Amsterdam of non-electric vehicles by 2025 and the ban on diesel vans and trucks in Paris by 2020.
Finally he stressed that low hanging fruit could still easily be picked up in the field of truck drivers productivity by avoiding excessive waiting time for trucks servicing warehouses, clearly a challenge in the hands of industry, but also at border crossing in many places of the world, a plague which more digitalization and cooperation between customs authorities should help to solve in the years ahead.
This ITF side event was organized under the initiative of Smart Freight Centre, the General Manager who set the scene for the panel discussion and sponsored on top of ESC by 3 Trade Federations which jointly with ESC support this trend to a ‘smarter and greener freight’: European Freight Forwarders’ Organisation (CLECAT) and International Federation of Freight Forwarders Association (FIATA) were represented respectively by UPS Europe,and Sinotrans (China) Vice-Presidents, International Road Transport Union (IRU) was represented by its chairman. Last but not least a representative of the Federal Canadian Transportation Agency presented the government’s view.
More opinions, statements and requirements expressed by all panelists and questions raised by visiting delegates will be published via media channels of above organizations on short notice.