Tuesday, March 24, 2020

European Logistics Stakeholders Issue a Communique to Ruling Authorities

Request to Facilitate Transport Through the Crisis and Beyond
Shipping News Feature

EUROPE – As the true seriousness of the Covid-19 virus effect on the very fabric of society becomes apparent, over 30 stakeholders from the transport sector have come together to address the European authorities with the aim of impressing them with the relevance and importance of their collective sectors of the industry.

The group consists of a variety of European associations representing transport, infrastructure managers, operators, workers in all transport modes and logistics, contractors, local and regional authorities and service providers, shippers, users and equipment suppliers in the maritime, port, inland waterways, railways, road, cycling, aviation and intermodal sectors, as well as supporting industries and companies.

The statement stresses the importance of the transport sector which has a crucial role to play in the supply of goods, in particular medicines, medical devices, food and other essential commodities needed to overcome this crisis. The transport sector also proves to be a vital instrument in these times where many European citizens are restricted in their mobility.

The statement makes the following points which it wishes all organs of government to adhere to:

  • Highlight the key role transport and logistics are playing for the supply of essential goods in this critical period: stress that transport infrastructure is in this respect critical infrastructure
  • Show their respect and support to all workers in the supply chain enabling the continuity of transport services, the movement of goods and essential commodities, as well as the repatriation of stranded citizens, and thus playing a major role in helping the Eu¬ropean citizens to overcome this crisis
  • Call on the Member States to enable smooth border crossings for freight transport, both intra-EU and with third countries, in this respect fully support the establishment of green freight lanes in coordination with the concerned transport stakeholders
  • Support the measures and actions taken on EU-level and by national governments to contain the spread of Covid-19 and call on the Members States to coordinate their response to the Covid-19 and to follow the European Commission’s guidelines on border management
  • Reiterate the importance of protecting the health and safety of transport workers, notably through personal protective equipment, as well as access to clean and disinfected sanitary facilities, food and drinks
  • Highlight that the transport and logistics sectors are based on a physical work force and call on the European Commission and the Member States to facilitate its mobility, including repatriation of the transport work force
  • Urge the policy makers to assist the heavily affected transport sector in its recovery, to ensure future connectivity for both passen¬gers and freight, and to revitalise the arteries of the internal market as soon as the crisis is over

The statement comes from a collective of the following organisations:

A4E – Airlines for Europe; AIM – European Brands Association; ALICE – European Technology Platform; BPO – Baltic Ports Organisation; ARDAN – Solutions for innovation; CER - Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies; CLECAT – European Association for Forwarding, Transport, Logistics and Customs Services; COCERAL – European association for trade in cereals, rice, feedstuffs, oilseeds, olive oil, oils and fats and agrosupply; EBU – European Barge Union; ECASBA – European Community Association of Shipbrokers and Agents; ECSA – European Community Shipowners’ Associations; EFIP – European Federation of Inland Ports; EIM – European Rail Infrastructure Managers; EMPA – European Maritime Pilots’ Association; ERFA - European Rail Freight Association; ESC – European Shippers’ Council; ESO - European Skippers’ Organisation; ESPO - European Sea Ports Organisation; ETF – European Transport Workers’ Federation; EuDA – European Dredging Association; FEPORT – Federation of Private Port Operators and Terminals; FERRMED – Association to improve Railfreight Transportation; FTA –Freight Transport Association; INE – Inland Navigation Europe; IWI – Inland Waterways International; IWT – European Inland Waterway Transport Platform; POLIS – European Cities and Regions Networking for Innovative Transport Solutions; SEA EUROPE – the voice of civil and naval (maritime technology) industries in Europe; UETR – European Road Haulers Association; UIP - International Union of Wagon Keepers; UIRR – International Union for Road-Rail Combined Transport; UNIFE – The European Rail Supply Industry Association; UNISTOCK – European association of professional portside storekeepers for agribulk commodities.