Brussels, 25 September 2019

On September 25th, the European Logistics Platform (ELP) organised an event “Logistics in Transition: how to handle growing freight transport and the challenges ahead”.

ELP event

FEPORT Secretary General, Mrs. Lamia Kerdjoudj-Belkaid, moderated the panel discussion that involved representatives from the industry, the European Commission and the European Parliament.

Professor Alan McKinnon, Professor of Logistics at the Kühne Logistics University presented the mega-trends affecting logistics and alerted participants about the lack of progress in cutting CO2 emissions and the real urgency to speed up decarbonization efforts in the logistics sector.

Speakers from industry, included Mr. Leigh Pomlett Executive Director of CEVA, Mr. Bart Vandewaetere Corporate Communications and Government Relations for Nestlé and Mr. Helder Velho, Director for EU Transportation Services at Amazon, were asked by Mrs. Kerdjoudj-Belkaid about the way their respective companies are dealing with sustainability and skills shortage and what are their expectations from institutional stakeholders regarding investment in infrastructure, digitalization and trade barriers as well as the impact of Brexit.

Mr. Edoardo Turano, Deputy Head of the Road Transport Unit of the European Commission’s Directorate-General Climate Action (DG CLIMA), reminded delegates that the EU’s ambition is to reduce transport emissions by 60% by 2050 compared to 1990, and declared that emphasizing collaboration between governments and the private sector is essential to achieve this target.

He also evoked the long-term EU emissions reduction strategy, with low-emission mobility at heart. He then insisted on the need to accelerate decarbonization of transport to meet climate objectives but also increase Europe’s competitiveness and use this challenge to invest in the future and innovate.

Mr. Sandro Santamato, Head of Unit at the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport, in charge of Maritime Transport and Logistics, explained how digitalization and automation could create a shift in skills required and increase the attractiveness of the sector.

The shift towards multimodality as well as digitalization and the integration of environmental and climate objectives in the future EU research and innovation agenda will remain among the EU Commission’s priorities according to Mr Santamato.

Responding to what was expressed by industry representatives, MEP Liberadzki reminded the audience on the need to invest in order to meet decarbonization targets. He also insisted on the necessity to ensure that EU rules support industry competitiveness and not stifle it.

MEP Vera Tax welcomed the fact that industry supports the need to decarbonize and called for more input regarding ways of achieving the EU targets and what would be needed in terms of investment and R&D. She also mentioned the need for the European Commission to support gender balance in logistics.

Source: FEPORT and ELP