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EU/US alliance: ‘intermodal transport vital for competition’ (Railfreight)

The International Union for Road-Rail Combined Transport (UIRR) joined forces with its stateside partner, the Intermodal Association of North America (IANA), to deliver a powerful message at a special exhibition at the European Parliament in Brussels.

Led by Wim van de Camp, the EP’s Transport and Tourism coordinator, the event marked the first freight event of the European Commission’s Multimodal Year 2018 initiative. It was opened by EU Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc, supported by a delegation from the Belgian Ministry of Transport.

In his keynote address, Mr van de Camp declared the ‘strong preference’ of all of the stakeholders for more intermodality, while emphasising his own personal support for the passing of a series of proposed legislative amendments to the Combined Transport Directive. The directive is a European Union policy initiative designed to reduce the negative effects of freight transport on the environment, such as reduced emissions, and on society in general, including congestion, accidents and noise pollution.

“Efficient insertion of non-road modes of transport, such as rail, inland waterways and short sea shipping, into land transport is strongly desired by the European Parliament as this can materially contribute to EU competitiveness,” van de Camp told delegates.

Commissioner Bulc used her opening speech to highlight the role intermodal will have to play in the drive to decarbonise and drastically reduce the pollution and congestion caused primarily by road transport. She underlined the need for regulatory solutions that require many stakeholders to work together to deliver a single transport assignment. These solutions will focus on digitalisation and are expected to be part of the third phase of the EU’s ‘green’ Clean Mobility Package due to be unveiled in May.

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