16 June 2016


CLECAT participated yesterday in a panel debate during the official launch of a study on the importance and added value of freight transport in the Benelux. This report was handed to the General Secretariat Benelux, to the transport sector of the Benelux countries, in the presence of M. Zakonjšek, Head of Cabinet for Commissioner Bulc.

Welcoming the report, Mr Zakonjšek noted that the conclusions of this study could and should be used for Europe. CLECAT’s DG Nicolette van der Jagt said in the panel debate that the Benelux has been a success story, in particular for road transport. The Benelux is a forerunner in reaching an Internal Market for Transport. The Benelux allows the cross border transport of EMS vehicles, 44 tonnes trucks, 45 ft containers. Of all German states, Nordrhein-Westfalen is by far the most important trade partner of the Benelux. Even so, trade between the Benelux and Nordrhein- Westfalen can still be boosted further. The large volume makes it possible to set up innovative logistics services (e.g. truck platooning but equally allowing for EMS vehicles), and closer cooperation between the Benelux and Nordrhein-Westfalen can contribute to this.  Also pilots with platooning in both road and inland waterways, which are upcoming, demonstrate that the Benelux can be a great testing lab for innovative and cross border projects which are all seeking to increase sustainability of transport.

One of the recommendations was that policy attention is needed in order to be able to continue to

handle the relatively large and still growing volume of freight transport in the Benelux in an efficient and sustainable manner in the future as well. The Benelux is the hub for international freight transport in Europe. The recommendation is to keep the smooth and sustainable handling of the  flows of goods high on the policy agenda in the Benelux in terms of infrastructure, multimodal  transport, regulations, traffic management (e.g. ITS) and availability of alternative fuels. The focus is on active collaboration and coordination of policies in the Benelux Union in order to in particular make possible the administrative simplification and computerisation of the documents associated with the various modes of transport. An active participation in and fast execution of activities in the   three corridors of the TEN-T network in the Benelux is also desirable in order to achieve a more optimal use of that network. 

The 2016 Benelux Report on Freight Transport is available here.