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UIRR Sheds Light on the Future of Combined Transport Under EU's New Directive

UIRR Sheds Light on the Future of Combined Transport Under EU's New Directive
photo: René_Potsdam / Flickr/SBB 460
22 / 12 / 2023

UIRR and its members have carefully evaluated the European Commission’s proposal on the amendment of the Combined Transport Directive and issued a position paper last week.

The list of positive changes to the regulatory framework of Combined Transport proposed by the European Commission is extensive:

  1. The scope of combined transport operation has been extended to domestic lines.
  2. The positioning of empty containers has been recognised as part of a combined transport operation.
  3. The identification marking of intermodal loading units following ISO6346 or EN13044(1) has been mandated, which is to aid operational efficiency.
  4. Combined Transport road legs will be granted a general exemption from every type of drive bans instated by Member States.
  5. The equal regulatory framework of cross-border Combined Transport and its unimodal road alternative will be maintained.
  6. The European Commission will create an information portal on the Member State rules and support schemes for Combined Transport.
  7. Additional information disclosure and terminal categorisation will be introduced.
  8. Member States will be required to draw up a policy plan to contain specific objectives to be achieved with Combined Transport and the support measures that are offered to achieve these, which should reduce the operating costs of Combined Transport by at least 10%.

Several amendments will be offered to the European co-legislators by UIRR to further enhance the amendment of the Combined Transport Directive.

UIRR will continue to study solutions to improve the combined transport calculator proposed by the Commission to replace the current definition of a combined transport operation. The recognition of Combined Transport’s robust external cost performance when compared to its unimodal road alternative to achieve transport policy objectives is to be applauded in its principle. Nevertheless, the rapid evolution of the legislative framework of external costs, as well as technical realisation through the IT infrastructure defined in the Electronic Freight Transport Information Regulation (eFTI), need to be carefully considered. UIRR will publish a separate position paper on these issues in the coming weeks.

Source: UIRR