Commission study confirms sector: CT will suffer under the new EU road haulage rules 22/02/21

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Commission study confirms sector: CT will suffer under the new EU road haulage rules

The targeted impact assessment study of the European Commission1 published on 19 February reached an identical conclusion to the sector study2 on the impact of the new EU road haulage rules on Combined Transport by projecting an 8% decline of Combined Transport volumes, if the new rules are fully implemented.

The cost of CT road legs impacts the end-to-end CT transport chain “between 40-60%”, which means that the “16% lower cost of non-resident hauliers” coupled with “the greater flexibility of their services” has a major impact on the overall price and competitiveness of Combined Transport.  The “structural shortage of professional drivers” in some Member States will further exacerbate the situation.

Germany, the Benelux countries, Italy and Austria will be particularly affected by the reverse modal shift.  These Member States were also identified in the sector study.

Road-Rail will be the most impacted Combined Transport sector. The business case for rail freight connections can be put at serious risk even with a low drop in the transported volumes, given that a change in the utilization rate of a freight train can make the entire previously established train connection economically unfeasible.  Fewer rail departures would lead to a domino effect with CT losing more of its competitiveness and resulting in additional reverse shift – beyond what is covered in the Impact Assessment study - to road-only transport.

Transport politicians should take special care to avoid contradicting socially motivated legislative changes with decarbonisation objectives.  UIRR actively encourages the development of legislative solutions that deliver simultaneously and equally on both.  The objective of the European intermodal sector is to achieve a fair regulatory playing field between the modes of transport, which is based on the highest social standards and at the same time effectively carries European freight transport towards our shared decabonisation goals.

The UIRR position paper3 contains fact sheets for the TOP10 most affected Member States: Germany, Italy, France, Belgium, Austria, The Netherlands, Luxembourg, Sweden, Spain and Hungary.  CT Operators and Railway Undertakings active in the country, transhipment terminals and national associations will jointly promote country-specific recommendations on how to prevent any unwanted road-sector practice without exercising the highly damaging optional measure that would make decarbonization objectives alongside Combined Transport a collateral damage.

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