13 July 2023

CLECAT welcomes EC proposals on Greening Freight Transport

Brussels, 13 July – CLECAT, the European association of Freight Forwarders welcomes the publication of the Greening Transport Package, which was adopted by the European Commission on 11 July. The Package includes a set of proposals that aim to contribute to the target of cutting transport emissions by 90% by 2050, as set out in the European Green Deal, while allowing the EU single market to continue growing. All these proposals are of key importance to European freight forwarders making use of all modes of transport and seeking to do this in the most efficient way with less environmental impact.

The association is looking now into the detail of the proposals to see how the proposals facilitate the move towards more international rail freight, allow for a more efficient use of trucks in cross-border road freight transport and set the right framework for measuring GHG emissions in transport.

CLECAT particularly welcomes the CountEmissions EU Regulation, which aims to establish a common European framework for calculating GHG emissions of transport operations in the freight and passenger transport sector. CLECAT Director General Nicolette van der Jagt noted: “We appreciate the Commission proposes to use the methodology established by the ISO 14083 standard, the development of which was actively supported by CLECAT, as freight forwarders use international transport operations, including those involving more than one transport mode. Whereas the Regulation does not mandate companies to report their GHG emissions from transport, those that decide to do so will have to adhere to the CountEmissions EU rules. This is in line with what CLECAT has been calling for, as it will allow for a gradual market-take up including SMEs.’

Secondly, the revision of the Weights & Dimensions Directive is positive on some of the proposed measures such as the possibility to perform cross-border operations with European Modular Systems (EMS) vehicles between countries allowing them in their territories. Importantly, CLECAT maintains that Directive should not restrict the possibility to authorise cross-border transport operations with heavier/longer vehicles between consenting Member States. Ms van der Jagt commented: ‘The proposal will allow operators to take advantage of the operational and environmental efficiency linked to the greater loading capacity; EMS vehicles consume less fuel and produce less emissions per unit of cargo transported, while reducing the number of trucks on EU roads. However, CLECAT fails to understand that the Commission, recognising that these vehicles contribute to a reduction of road freight emissions in their own right, proposes to phase out the use of heavier lorries running on fossil fuels, in cross border transport in 2035, while these vehicles can still be allowed in national traffic.’

Thirdly, the proposal for a Rail capacity Regulation seems to be on the right track. CLECAT has for many years urged for a Regulation on capacity management to better reflect the rail freight operating model which is mostly cross-border. These proposals are essential for Europe’s ambition to grow rail freight volumes.  Ms van der Jagt noted: ‘Whilst freight forwarders, representing the customers of rail freight services, are willing to make increased use of rail freight services, such a decision is conditional upon significant improvements in the current quality provided, both in terms of infrastructure and services. We were disappointed by the results of the Rail Freight Corridor Regulation due the lack of the monitoring of the performance of rail freight services to develop and implement effective plans to improve performance.  Also, the Regulation failed to support the management of cross border infrastructure for cross-border rail freight. We are pleased to see that the European Commission is this time making more bold proposals for rail freight.’   

CLECAT will examine the proposals in more detail over the coming weeks and looks forward to exploring with the European Commission, European Parliament and Council potential improvements to the proposals.

Finally, we call on the Commission to swiftly adopt the revision of the Combined Transport Directive, originally planned to be presented together with the other proposals, to ensure its adoption by the Parliament and Council before the European elections next year.

For more information, please contact:

Nicolette van der Jagt
Director General CLECAT
+ 32 497484570