20 May 2016

Business and government for smarter freight

At the ITF Annual Summit in Leipzig representatives from CLECAT, FIATA, ESC, IRU and Smart Freight Centre (SFC) debated this morning opportunities for business and governments to work towards ‘smarter freight.’

The freight and logistics sector is a critical part of transport and mobility and the broader economy. The private sector has to make ends meet in transposing low carbon use, efficient procedures and competitive freight rates (“smart freight”) at the same time. Governments must help to overcome market and policy barriers to accelerate the uptake of solutions and innovation.  It was noted that many challenges for businesses are global and supranational and therefore regulation should be harmonised at the global level. However, legal instruments and national regulation are often not consistent. Business continues to call for agile responses from governments to the quick pace of changes in business models. Jens Poggensee, CLECAT board member and UPS Head of freight forwarding Europe gave some solid existing examples on where governments should invest in infrastructure, as there is a clear need for hard infrastructure, next to collaboration and better use of assets through IT and digitalisation.

The moderator Christian Doepgen of the International Transport Journal summarized the debate with the call for the right incentives from governments to allow for smarter solutions with digitalisation, investments, trade facilitation and horizontal and vertical collaboration. Green freight programmes are a long term solution for industry and governments in reducing emissions and living up to the commitments made.