EU Policy context

The trend towards increasing transport demand – prerequisite for economic growth – is still challenging the European transport system. Even though the transport demand depends on the more and more volatile economic performance it still can be assumed that there will be an enormous increase in transported tonne-kilometres. In the midterm review of the 2001 white book Keep Europe Moving – Sustainable Mobility for our Continent, the European Commission predicts 50% growth in the EU-25 countries from the year 2000 until the year 2020. However, there is statistical evidence that the factor tonne outstrips the factor kilometres. Thus, the length of hauls rises whereas the transported weights staying more or less constant.


To tackle the outlined challenges the European Commission recently published its new white paper Roadmap to a Single European Transport Area – Towards a competitive and resource efficient transport system.This White paper provides a comprehensive strategy for a competitive transport system that will foster mobility. At the same time, the White paper describes a vision to dramatically reduce carbon emissions in transport (aim is 60% by 2050). One major strategy to bring this vision to life is to optimise the performance of multimodal logistic chain, including by making greater use of inherently more energy-efficient modes. Therefore the goal is set to shift 30% of road freight over 300 km to other modes such as rail or waterborne transport by 2030, and more than 50% by 2050. To meet this goal appropriate infrastructure and transport equipment is needed.