Statement by the European Shippers' Council (ESC)

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Nicolette Van der JagtStatement by Nicolette Van Der Jagt, Secretary General, European Shippers' Council (ESC)

The European Shippers' Council (ESC) represents the interests of European industry as users of freight transport services in all modes of freight transport.

The optimal and best freight transport and logistics solutions are those that demonstrate both economic and environmental sustainability in equal measure. The two conditions are not mutually exclusive: lower emissions, and the more optimal utilization of transport and transport infrastructure not only delivers improved air quality, less noise, accidents and congestion, but also significant cost savings, reliability improvements and supply chain efficiencies for transport users.
It should be possible to align environmental policy with freight transport policy to achieve the outcomes wanted by industry and society. Policies should:

  • Remove restrictions (physical and regulatory) to the introduction of infrastructure and transport developments wanted by industry and that would also reduce the environmental impact of freight transport;

  • Ensure all modes of freight transport are accessible, competitive, and can where appropriate support co-model logistics options;

  • Support, promote and help develop best practices and use of management tools, among shippers and the freight industry, which have demonstrable environmental benefits.

Specifically, therefore, ESC has long argued for:
  • Fewer restrictions on the use of longer, heavier vehicles and freight trains, where safety is not compromised.

  • Infrastructure developments targeted at where demand forecasts suggest there is most need and economic and environmental return on the investment.

  • Earmarking revenues from transport user charges and taxes towards technological and infrastructure developments which reduce the environmental impact of transport from where the levies were raised.

  • Separation of freight transport and passenger transport wherever possible; where this is not practical, freight should be given priority where it is economically and environmentally justifiable to do so.

In short, freight transport policies should be seen to deliver an improvement economically and environmentally to the status quo.