Position paper: Greening Freight Transport Package 03/10/23

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Greening Freight Transport Package: protectionism or rebalancing?


Something must be wrong with road transport – this is the quick conclusion if confronted with the sector’s ‘performance indicators’:

  • a continuous carbon footprint increase,
  • ever growing pollutant emissions,
  • lacklustre energy efficiency improvement,
  • relentless increase of fossil fuel demand,
  • more and more noise,
  • persistently poor safety performance, as reflected in accident statistics,
  • unabated road congestion,
  • rapidly deteriorating road infrastructure,
  • an unresolved truck driver shortage and continuous social issues.

Reading the list, one may easily conclude that the 76% market share of the road sector is not only exaggerated, but it is simply unsustainable.

Trucking companies are increasingly resorting to borderline legal business models complemented by fierce lobbying to uphold the low freight rates, which enabled the conquering of a ‘three-quarters slice’ of the freight transport pie.

The low freight transport rates, desired by shippers and consignors, can only be provided by unimodal long-distance road haulage if it is accompanied by increasing costs to society and public budgets. The severity of the costs required from society has been rapidly growing: climate change, energy scarcity, health concerns, congestion and accidents, deteriorating road and bridges, and the lack of willingness for the young to become truck drivers. By today, however, the Combined Transport alternative to unimodal long-distance trucking emerged as a door-to-door freight transport solution capable of similar low freight transport rates but without much of the burden to society.

Policies should be employed to rebalance the modal share of the long-distance freight transportation services that we need. The sacrifices imposed by the dominance of unimodal long-distance road haulage are not unavoidable. There is a way to break the excessive and unsustainable dominance of long-distance trucks.


Read further and download the full position paper as a pdf below:

Documents correspondants
UIRR Position paper: GFTP EN