EU Resolution Targets Road Haulage Change
The European Parliament has approved road transport legislation that attempts to simplify operations for breakbulk carriers and logistics firms operating across the continent. The parliament’s Resolution on Road Transport in the European Union aims to facilitate cross-border mobility, promote low-emissions and improve competitiveness and innovation in the road sector. “The EU has a unique opportunity to not only lead the modernization of road transport at home, but also globally,” said Violeta Bulc, EU Commissioner for Transport. “Our reforms will set the foundation for standardized, digital road solutions, fairer social conditions and enforceable market rules …
Common standards and cross-border services will also help make multimodal travel a reality across Europe.” Deeper investment in the interoperability of transport systems, the technological development of vehicles, the promotion of alternative fuels and access to the market for SMEs were all cited as key drivers for the resolution. “We welcome proposals to reduce the ever-increasing administrative burden that our international members have been facing when operating abroad,” said Pauline Bastidon, head of European policy at the Freight Transport Association. “We also welcome the commission’s efforts to bring greater interoperability to road charging tools … and cut costs for international operators, as well as the proposal to introduce incentives for users of cleaner vehicles.”
Improving employment conditions The new regulation has been developed in consultation with the breakbulk transportation industry, and is the first in a series of eight legislative initiatives specifically targeting road transport. The proposals are designed to streamline the functioning of the road haulage market, but also to improve workers’ social and employment conditions, which will be achieved by “stepping up enforcement, fighting illicit employment practices, cutting the administrative burden for companies and bringing more clarity to existing rules.”
“We see the world of transport changing fundamentally. Europe must seize this opportunity and shape the future of mobility. This is our unique chance to ‘reinvent the wheel.’ I would like our industry not only to be part of the global change but to set the tone,” said Maro? ?ef?ovi? , EU vice president for Energy Union.
Despite the mainly positive reception to the resolution there was some concern from the freight sector with the UK’s FTA hesitant about increased red tape in some areas. “We recognize the political pressure the European Commission was facing from some member states to amend regulations covering freight vehicles, but the addition of new restrictions on van operators is an unnecessary imposition, the implementation of which will hinder business growth and bring no meaningful benefit to road safety,” said James Firth, FTA head of licencing policy. The FTA is the largest membership association representing the UK logistics industry.
Photo: The EU resolution aims to streamline breakbulk transport in Europe.