26 January 2017

CLECAT publishes views on the Low-Emission Mobility Strategy ahead of Parliament report

Following the publication in July 2016 of the European Commission’s Strategy on Low-Emission Mobility, the European Parliament is drafting an own-initiative report setting out MEPs’ views on the strategy. Ahead of the work in the Parliament’s TRAN and ENVI committees, CLECAT has prepared a briefing for MEPs  on issues of importance to logistics, freight forwarding and customs services, which should be taken into account in the Parliament’s report. 

CLECAT is largely supportive of the Commission’s strategy of CO2 emissions from transport (land, sea and air transport). The Commission takes a realistic approach and CLECAT agrees with the analysis and the challenge: transport and logistics need to continue to provide good mobility and connectivity but with less emissions.  CLECAT welcomes the fact that the Commission continues to work on a broad and wide range of relevant issues for reducing emissions. 

In order to operate smart, efficient logistics chains, the right choices should be enabled. This includes vehicle investment, route planning and decisions on the modal split within the logistics chain. Therefore a holistic approach to reducing HDV emissions is a welcome approach, ensuring the maximum impact of emissions reduction measures. This therefore includes infrastructure investment, smart route planning, driver training, electrification - fuels research – such as biofuels  and other such measures, as well as direct technical modifications to vehicles. This does require, however, all parties to engage and fulfil their relevant commitments. 

In particular CLECAT has noted:


  • Digital Logistics for Low-Carbon Efficiency. In order to reduce emissions, logistics operators have started to implement environmentally friendly collaborative strategies addressing supply chain integration, multimodal transport, consolidation of deliveries and reverse logistics. Digital technologies can greatly aid in this process, boosting the efficiency of the transport system and therefore emissions reduction. It is important that EU funded projects seek to address these issues and allow also SME’s to benefit from the necessary IT at low costs.

  • Intermodality. CLECAT welcomes the strategy’s commitment to promoting multimodal integration, which can be made possible by modernising the transport sector and completing the TEN-T network. These huge investment requirements in the transport sector should be taken into account by the current review of the MFF and by the future EU budget 2021-2027. CLECAT also calls on the EU institutions to move forward with modernisation of the Combined Transport Directive and to ensure that it works flexibly and realistically.

  • A Balanced Pricing Framework. Any road charges in Europe should reflect the environmental performance of vehicles, and the revenue generated should be earmarked for investment in infrastructure which improves the efficiency of the transport system.

  • Enabling Cleaner Vehicles. All sustainable fuel options should be considered in conjunction with other measures, as a holistic approach combining low-carbon energy use, increased energy and vehicle efficiency, and smart demand management would greatly serve to reduce the carbon footprint of transport and logistics. Access to the VECTO simulation tool should be opened up to transport buyers and operators, and should form the basis for vehicle emissions standards which would act as a spur to innovation in cleaner vehicle technology.

  • Optimisation. CLECAT also supports the larger use of European Modular System (EMS) in the EU, as they provide additional loading capacity and fewer trips for the same amount of goods transported.  There are other means for load factor optimisation – through for example – collaboration, relaxed driving and resting time, - longer pick up and delivery windows, cabotage.·

  • Coordination in Europe. Numerous national/regional initiatives are sometimes contradictory and therefore generate distortion of competition and diminish their overall environmental impact. European coordination is vital to ensure that progress made in the transport sector regarding the environment is comparable between EU countries and between the different means of transport. 

CLECAT looks forward to discussing these issues with MEPs as they prepare the Parliament’s report. The full briefing can be found below.