UETR manifesto for 2014 European elections
PROBLEMS IN ROAD HAULAGE SECTOR URGENTLY REQUIRE VALID SOLUTIONS
UETR, the European Road Haulers Association, has published its manifesto for the upcoming European elections. The organization has defined a number of challenges for the road haulage sector in the coming years.
Since its foundation in 1998 UETR defends the interests of more than 200.000 road transport undertakings, most of which are micro, small or medium enterprises. In that period a lot has changed. In particular over the last years the road haulage and logistics sector has gone through rough economic storms. Due to the economic crisis the competitive position of many companies has extremely weakened.
Nevertheless the importance of road haulage for the European economy still increases. One may never forget that almost all goods sooner or later have to be transported to their final destination. In a society where e-commerce becomes more and more important, road haulers offering a door-to-door solution still create an important added value to the whole society
In addition to this, the legislative framework has not made the road hauler’s job easier. In its manifesto UETR has to ascertain that for a number of the most important bottlenecks in transport and logistics still no valid solution has been found. « This sector, more or less the motor of the European and national economies, is counting on support in this and other issues. UETR wants to see these points realized by the new European Commission and Parliament » states Francesco Del Boca, president of UETR.
UETR urges the European Union to tackle the existing unfair competition by maximally harmonising operational conditions. Equal conditions for competition are somewhat depending on an equal standard of training, but a lot more on a better social harmonization of social security rules and labour costs.
Regarding the « user pays » principle the organisation advocates that any application of the principle of internalisation of external costs can only be implemented if applied to all modes. In order to reduce the administrative burdens, the European road haulers insist that the interoperability of the different technologies for electronic toll would be realised without any further hesitation.
The sector also wants to continue to take its responsibility in the area of reducing CO2 emissions. This can be accomplished by the international, cross-border application of existing logistic concepts (such as the 45' container and LHV) and by aerodynamic modifications to vehicles.
The European authorities must also facilitate innovative concepts and technological progress. This could be achieved by facilitating and co-financing the expansion of a tank network for alternative fuels and by stimulating Member States to financially support investments in vehicles propelled by alternative fuels. At the same time UETR stresses that the economic viability of alternative fuels must not be achieved only by raising the existing taxes and excise duties on diesel trucks.