Contribution of International Road Transport Union (IRU) on Innovation

Janusz Lacny Road Transport and Innovation

by Janusz LACNY, President, International Road Transport Union (IRU)

Sustainable, Innovative Road Transport - Driving Progress
In the current globalised world economy, road transport is no longer merely a mode of carriage, but has become a vital production tool in every supply chain, ensuring competitiveness and the sustainable economic and trade development of every country. The challenge of both industry and governments is to make every transport mode efficient and compatible with the aims of sustainable development, which is a priority issue for the International Road Transport Union (IRU), the organisation representing truck, bus, coach and taxi operators through its 180 Members in 74 countries on 5 continents.
Innovation - A Driving Force in the Road Transport Sector
To achieve sustainable development, the IRU has developed and implemented the IRU's 3 "i" strategy, based on Innovation, Incentives and Infrastructure. Guided by this IRU strategy, the road transport industry has invested heavily in innovative vehicle technology and is implementing innovative operating practices, effectively and significantly reducing by up to 97% road transport's environmental footprint while meeting growing societal and economic demand for its servicing. Innovation is a driving force in the road transport sector and a prerequisite for providing high quality customer service. Innovative solutions provided through ITS applications and the Modular Concept help to create better transport rather than more transport.

ITS Applications: Improving the Quality of Road Transport Services
Innovative ITS applications, which add information and communication technology to infrastructure and commercial vehicles, can provide tangible safety, security, environmental and economic benefits. Their use for fleet management and route planning contribute considerably to the reduction of vehicle wear, transportation times, fuel consumption and hence CO2 emissions. Applied in a proper way they constitute a win-win situation for the road transport sector, the economy and the environment.

Modular Concept - An Innovative Solution for Efficient Multimodal Transport
Linking existing trailers effectively to longer vehicles combinations achieves greater volume capacity per vehicle, helps to adapt vehicle combinations to varying business situations, increases combined transport and improves fuel efficiency and environmental performance in road transport. The flexibility of Modular Concept vehicles to load three different containers or swap bodies actually promotes multimodal transport. As such, the Modular Concept provides better transport rather than more transport in feeding multimodal terminals and delivering consignments. Standardised Modular Concept vehicles should have a place in modern transport systems, as do longer 25m buses which are in use in inner cities.

IRU expectations from the 2010 ITF meeting
The road transport industry expects from the International Transport Forum an engagement from governments to standardise, harmonise and ensure the interoperability of ITS applications and promote its voluntary use. Furthermore, considering the vital role of road transport for economic development, the road transport industry expects from the International Transport Forum to endorse the innovative Modular Concept. Moreover, the road transport industry expects that governmental representatives also engage to harmonise and standardise transport units, loading equipment and terminals to ensure the successful national and international implementation and optimal use of the Modular Concept.

To conclude and following the IRU Slogan "working together for better future" and IRU's 3 "i" strategy for achieving sustainable development, the road transport sector is ready to lay its role in making innovative technology and practice a win-win approach for the industry and society as a whole.