On 13 June 2017, the European Shippers Council was invited to address the CEOs of rail infrastructure managers during their annual meeting in Sopron, Hungary. Jean-Christophe Hermand, the Chair of ESC Railway Transport Council, used this opportunity to outline expectations from cargo owners. He also opened a discussion with infrastructure managers on potential changes that could be agreed and supported by both sides, focusing on the following topics:
- Greater involvement & consultation of end users
- Measures to increase rail freight’s reliability & transparency – especially in terms of rail freight’s performance
- Proposed measures to increase cooperation across the board (IMs/IMs; IMs/RUs/end users)
- Possible way forward to increase the cost-competitiveness of rail freight.
On 31st May 2017, the European Commission published a large package of legislation on road transportation. This package will amend several already existing directives, such as access to the market and the tachograph directive. Main features of the so-called Mobility Package are the liberalization of cabotage and a more stringent regime on paying the minimum wage of the country where a service is delivered.
Cabotage under the present legislation (national transport after an international transport) is possible for 3 voyages in 7 days. Under the proposals, this will be extended to an unlimited number of voyages in 5 days. This extension of cabotage is welcomed by ESC as it increases the possibilities for a more efficient and sustainable road transport. Cabotage should take place under local conditions. (more…)
The 8th Cluster for Logistics Conference: Cooperation in Intermodality and Innovation that took place on the 30th of May 2017 stressed again a need for cooperation in supply chain. Introducing innovative solutions and tackling disruptions or changes will lead to success when it is done together.
“The goal is to collaborate,” said ESC Secretary-General Nik Delmeire during his presentation at the Conference. “ESC’s objective is to improve the Supply Chain by promoting collaboration between different partners in the Supply Chain. Every stakeholder in a supply chain has a different view. To get an optimised Supply Chain for all involved, Shippers need to work together with other stakeholders on joint processes.”
What should shippers do? June 6th, 2017, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt, Yemen and Libya announced that they were severing ties with Qatar due to suspicions of Qatar financing terrorism. The actions taken by these countries had immediate effect on the trade and logistics in the region and especially to and from Qatar.
The European Shippers’ Council is continuously monitoring the developments in Qatar. Here are the recent developments and advice for shippers:
Air transport: regional disruptions
One of the first measures by the countries isolating Qatar was closing their airspace for Qatari carriers and scrapping flights between these countries and Doha, Qatar. This meant a severe blow to the flight operations of Qatar Airways: (more…)
DG TAXUD has announced that it will be impossible to finalize the automation systems needed for the full implementation of the Union Customs Code before the proposed end date of 31st December 2020. This announcement was made to the participants of the Electronic Customs Coordination Group meeting, who represent European Trade Associations and 28 Member States.
ESC asked the Commission to be completely transparent in the timelines to allow shippers to prepare properly for the implementation of the new customs automation systems. (more…)
“e-CMR, if used throughout Europe, will open the opportunity for parties in the supply chain to exchange logistical data. It will improve the quality of the supply chain. It will be much easier to apply “control-tower” techniques. These techniques enable supply chain partners to plan the most efficient route for a lorry to arrive at the right time at the consignee or pick-up point for the consignment”, said Machiel van der Kuijl, the Vice Chair of the European Shippers’ Council, at the prestigious SIL Logistics Fair (Salón Internacional de la Logística y de la Manutención) in Barcelona, 6-8 June 2017.
While meeting German importers and exporters 10 days ago, ESC together with the current market conditions in Liner Shipping also discussed the conditions for potentially longer term contracts with ocean carriers. German Industry just as other ESC members seriously questions the ocean carriers’ current behaviour and has concerns over how Liner Shipping will evolve in the future. Given the importance of shipping in Global Trade, manufacturers and traders need sustainability. Those present agreed that only a constructive dialogue between shippers, service providers and the regulators can lead to continuity and regain confidence.