Brussels, 14 december 2006
The European Commission has today launched an exercise to identify and alleviate obstacles hindering the smooth running of the freight transport chain in Europe. In the framework of this so-called "bottleneck exercise", stakeholders and interested parties are invited to submit details of bottlenecks they have encountered. A bottleneck is any obstacle to freight transport logistics services, whether administrative, operational, legislative, local, national, Europe-wide or the like. Participants to the bottleneck exercise are also asked to identify effective solutions to these problems.
Freight logistics has been identified in the Mid-Term Review of the 2001 Transport White Paper as playing a key role in ensuring sustainable mobility in Europe. Jacques Barrot, Vice-President of the Commission in charge of transport, said: “By optimising the conditions for the delivery of goods, logistics is a crucial means of making transport more efficient, while limiting the effects of pollution and congestion. Shippers and their logistics partners need to consider competitive rail or short-sea services over long distances. A European logistics policy should keep know-how and talent in Europe and help to avoid the relocation of jobs outside our borders”.
The Commission has held two consultation meetings with stakeholders in the logistics sector since the beginning of 2006. In June 2006, it published a Communication on freight transport logistics in Europe. Both in the Communication and during the consultations it was recognised that an exercise should be initiated to identify and deal with obstacles preventing faster development of freight transport logistics. Consequently a letter has been sent to the stakeholders (industry, social partners and Member States) inviting them not only to take part in this identification exercise, but to put forward ways of solving the problem of bottlenecks.
In the near future a Focal Points group will be established representing the various actors in the sector. An important part of its mandate will be to closely monitor the bottlenecks exercise, looking for ways to remove obstacles in achieving maximum efficiency of freight transport logistics in Europe.
The letter inviting to participate in the bottleneck exercise is available on: www.ec.europa.eu/transport/logistics/index_en.htm
For more information on freight transport see: http://ec.europa.eu/transport/logistics/index_en.htm