26 September 2013

Position paper on Directive 96/53/EC defining the maximum weights and dimensions in road transport

In anticipation of further debates on the Commission's proposal (COM(2013) 195) amending Directive 96/53/EC defining the maximum weights and dimensions in road transport CLECAT has issued a position paper on the proposals.

In general CLECAT, representing freight forwarders and logistics service providers, is quite positive on the proposal, in particular on the provisions that seek to:

• facilitate the use of 45-foot containers in intermodal transport without the need for special permits,

• increase the maximum weight of lorries taking part in intermodal transport operations to 44 tons, and to

• confirm that cross-border operation of the European Modular System (EMS) is possible between countries who already decided to allow its use on their territory.

We however regret the fact that the debate in the European Parliament is largely focusing on whether or not to allow the transboundary transport of the so-called Ecocombi's, i.e. vehicles with a total length of 25.25 meter and a total weight of 40 tons.

As users of road freight transport we are of the opinion that the principle of subsidiarity should prevail in this regard and Member States would be best placed to decide whether they want to benefit from EMS vehicles or not.

However, a further delay in providing further innovation to road freight through the facilitation of 45-foot containers and aerodynamic designs would handicap the sustainable development of the EU Transport system as a whole and impact negatively on economic growth prospects.

The full position paper can be found here.

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