At a lunch debate in Brussels on 28th June organised by CLECAT and hosted by Wim van de Camp, Member of the European Parliament, freight forwarders, MEPs and European policy-makers discussed the recently published Mobility Package and its impact on freight forwarding and logistics.
In his introductory remarks Mr van de Camp, noted that "the Single Market is the essential overriding principle of the European road transport policy, which requires policies on social provisions, emissions and IT barriers as well in order to function fully. It is vital to ensure that the market elements of the Mobility Package remain connected to the social provisions, and in doing so to develop a road transport policy which is flexible, fair and open for all of Europe."
The legislative policy proposals were presented by Eddy Liégeois, Head of Unit for Road Transport at DG MOVE, noting that European industry and other stakeholders had been extensively consulted during a period of two years.
Discussing the proposals reviewing access to the market in road freight transport, Steve Hanley Cook, Global Head NTBO Solutions & Business Development at DHL Freight, said "Cabotage is one of the key drivers for efficiency in the logistics network. By using a vehicle which is being repositioned and would otherwise be empty to perform a cabotage operation, we are saving money for the shipper and hundreds of kilograms of CO2."
Tommy Pilarp, Vice-Chair of the CLECAT Road Logistics Institute, discussed the proposal to introduce sector-specific rules for the transport sector on the posting of workers. He argued that the Posting of Workers Directive was not appropriate for a mobile workforce and called for the Directive to contain clear definitions of posting and what constitutes a worker being sent to perform work in another country. He presented CLECAT's view that the proposal would add to the administrative burden and that it was only feasible if control was in the hands of the home country.
Mark Bromley, Chair of the CLECAT Road Logistics Institute, presented CLECAT's views on the road charging proposals. He argued that road charging must be non-discriminatory with regard to vehicle type and nationality, and be distance-based and differentiated according to emissions. He said that the Commission proposal did meet these criteria, but warned that the proposals on congestion charging, external-cost charging and mark-ups required strict conditions and transparency and that their revenues must be ear-marked for investment in infrastructure so as to relieve the problems which they are intended to address.
Nicolette van der Jagt, Director General of CLECAT, thanking MEP Wim van de Camp for moderating the event, said in a final remark that "CLECAT welcomes the Mobility Package's aims of increasing simplicity, transparency and enforcement of the rules for road transport within the EU internal market. Nonetheless there will be a lot of work to do to ensure that the final legislation properly takes into account the realities of the European road transport market and does not simply create new barriers. We look forward to working further with Parliament and Council in this direction in the busy months ahead".