The European Federation of Inland Ports (EFIP) welcomes the direction and actions of the Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy for Europe. The Strategy recognises the important role of inland ports as “Enablers of Green Logistics”. Inland ports’ role as multimodal hubs brings together low-emissions modes of transport promoting smart city logistics solutions that are key in the transition to smart and sustainable mobility.
The long-awaited Strategy was presented on 9 December by Executive Vice President Timmermans and Commissioner for Transport Vălean. It outlines the planned actions that will realise the Green Deal goals of reducing emissions by at least 50% by 2030 and reaching carbon-neutrality by 2050 within the field of transport.
EFIP President Friedrich Lehr commented: “The Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy is a document that gives clarity and direction to European transport policy. The recognition of the role of inland ports in achieving the European Green Deal is very welcome as we are working hard to contribute to decarbonising transport. By supporting the modal shift, syncromodality, alternative fuels and urban logistics, I believe we can start working on realising green logistics in order to achieve a carbon-neutral European economy by 2050.”
The continued support and initiatives in achieving the modal shift and syncromodality shows that Europe wants to make the shift to IWT and rail transport a reality. EFIP therefore heartily welcomes the announced NAIADES III and the updated Rail Freight Corridor Regulation. The proposal on supporting investments in multimodal terminals and transhipment infrastructure and the proposed actions will be essential from the perspective of Europe’s inland ports. Together with the foreseen new Combined Transport Directive, multimodal transport can become the cornerstone of European logistics.
Central in the Strategy is the decarbonisation of all modes of transport. In this, the Commission recognises the potential of ports to be energy hubs and the uptake of clean vessels. The proposed revision of the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Directive and Energy Taxation Directive will be essential in achieving this. The proposed measures to incentivise the deployment of renewable and low carbon refuelling infrastructure will be needed, as inland ports will not be able to undertake these essential infrastructure and energy developments alone; support from the promised funding initiatives will be crucial. Inland ports further welcome the actions proposed to realise the polluter pays principle in order to reach a level playing field between all the modes.
Finally, European inland ports welcome the proposed initiatives on sustainable urban logistics. EFIP and its members have been pushing new innovations to support clean logistics in their cities and regions and expect a prominent role to be given to inland ports in the proposed Sustainable Urban Logistics Plans. The expanded usage of inland waterways in cities shows considerable potential in this regard.
Picture: (c) Port autonome de Liège