IRU position paper calls for simplified policy to promote combined transport in Europe 14/02/24

< Zurück


Author: Pölös Zsófia



IRU position paper calls for simplified policy to promote combined transport in Europe


In its recently published position paper, IRU calls for a fundamental revision of the proposal for a Combined Transport Directive, as Europe's road hauliers involved in intermodal and combined transport are concerned that the added complexity in the new proposal will discourage rather than encourage the use of intermodal and combined transport solutions.


IRU position paper calls for simplified policy to promote combined transport in Europe

Photo credits @ Pixabay


The International Road Transport Union (IRU) has released a comprehensive position paper outlining its stance on the European Commission’s proposal to amend Directive 92/106/EEC on combined goods transport.

Highlighting the importance of intermodal and combined transport in meeting future freight demand, the IRU urges for a radical overhaul of existing policies to encourage modal cooperation rather than a forced modal shift.

IRU advocates for the adoption of a simplified version of distance criteria to determine eligibility for combined transport incentives. This mode-neutral approach aims to give intermodal and combined transport an advantage over unimodal options.

The union stresses the need for additional incentives for road goods transport operators opting for intermodal and combined transport. These incentives should include relief from administrative burdens and costs, investment support for compatible road goods transport vehicles, environmental bonuses, and compensations for delays and cancellations under defined conditions.

IRU calls for the voluntary use of an electronic freight transport information (eFTI) platform to prove compliance with EU intermodal and combined transport rules. This approach, in line with Regulation (EU) 2020/1056, ensures flexibility while maintaining compliance standards.

The union emphasises the importance of retaining the current definition of “own account” transport, and fine-tuning it with elements from Regulation (EC) No 1072/2009 for clarity and consistency.

IRU insists on avoiding additional administrative burdens and costs for the use of unaccompanied intermodal and combined transport solutions, thereby fostering efficiency and affordability in logistics operations.

To ensure efficient cross-border operations, IRU calls for compatible national policy frameworks and a supervisory role for the European Commission in overseeing their implementation.

Instead of relying on state aid, IRU suggests exploring alternative options such as taxes, charges, and duties linked to performance criteria to enhance competitiveness and prevent distortions in the market.


“We cannot lose sight of the expected increases in demand for freight transport by 2050. The EU will need all transport modes, individually and in combination, to deal with the increase as well as the existing demand,” said IRU Director of EU Advocacy Raluca Marian. “We cannot afford to consider forced modal shift. We must rather increase capacity and make existing capacity more efficient by encouraging road goods transport operators and shippers to use intermodal and combined transport operations to a much greater extent than is currently the case.”