Thursday, February 11, 2021

European Shipping and Logistics Groups Gang Up for a Cut of Government Money

672 Billion Euro Recovery and Resilience Fund Starts a Scramble
Shipping News Feature

EUROPE – Businesses have learnt that speed is of the essence when governments decide to hand out loans and grants to support them through the current pandemic. Now, with the European Parliament endorsing the agreement on the Proposal for a Regulation establishing a Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) this week, the transport and logistics lobby is one of the first in the queue.

The European industry associations and the like who are clamouring for a share of the €672.5 billion on offer as the EU’s main instrument to recover from the crisis, make for a formidable pack of wolves. They are presenting a united front and represent a cross section of the whole sector.

This includes infrastructure managers, operators, workers in all transport modes and logistics, contractors, local and regional authorities, logistics service providers, shippers, users, shipyards and equipment suppliers in the maritime sector, ports, inland waterways, railways, road, cycling, aviation, airports and intermodal sectors, as well as supporting industries and companies,

The group has called on all Member States and the European Commission to ensure that the transport sector receives adequate consideration in the hand out, making the following points and observations they:

  • Emphasise that the transport and logistics sectors are critical for providing EU citizens with the goods and the mobility that are essential for their health and well-being and will be major enablers to a sustainable and resilient recovery of Europe’s economy;
  • Reiterate that the European Green Deal calls for a 90% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from transport, which requires substantial investments in transport infrastructures and fleets;
  • Stress that the objectives of the Green Deal for Europe to become a climate-neutral economy by 2050, can only be obtained by increasing the sustainability of the transport sector, noting that the budget of the Connecting Europe Facility II is not sufficient to enable the necessary transformation;
  • Call on the Member States to put forward in their recovery and resilience plans measures facilitating economically and socially sustainable transport and digitalisation in the transport and logistics sectors, measures promoting cohesion and connectivity, promoting livable cities and regions, supporting just transition, support strategies for more diversified sustainable supply chains in view of strengthening Europe’s resilience as well as measures preparing the transport workforce for the digital transformation based on an inclusive social dialogue;
  • Call on the European Commission to evaluate the prominence of economically and socially sustainable transport measures in their assessment of the National Recovery and Resilience Plans.
Many of the thirty two signatories to the appeal are major players in the supply chain and include the Baltic Ports Organisation (BPO), the European Association for Forwarding, Transport, Logistics and Customs Services (CLECAT), the European Barge Union (EBU), European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA), European Federation of Inland Ports (EFIP), European Union Road Federation (ERF), European Rail Freight Association (ERFA), European Shippers’ Council (ESC), European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO), European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF), and the European Road Haulers Association (UETR) to name but a few.

Photo: Image courtesy of ERFA.