The International Road Transport Union (IRU), the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) and the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) today staged a joint international symposium on “Efficiency in Road Transport” in the framework of the 62nd IAA Commercial Vehicles, highlighting that in today’s globalised economy, road transport has become a vital production tool due to its high quality door-to-door services.
The symposium concluded that the use of longer heavier vehicles (LHVs) – the so-called Modular Concept -, coupled with innovative logistics strategies, represents the most appropriate answer from the road transport industry to effectively absorb the foreseen continued growth of freight transport in Europe and to promote the principle of co-modality, as advocated in the EU transport policy guidelines of the White Paper.
A recent study commissioned by the European Commission* has shown that the use of longer truck combinations, by achieving greater volume capacity per vehicle, would increase fuel and transport efficiency, reduce transport costs and have positive effects on road safety and the environment; the annual CO2 savings would amount to at least 5 million tonnes. The study concludes that “introducing LHVs is overall beneficial for the European society.”
IRU President, Janusz Lacny, said, “Modular Concept must be implemented as it provides better rather than more transport, by increasing road transport’s efficiency and promoting co-modality. However, harmonisation and standardisation of transport units, loading equipment and terminals are key to ensure successful implementation and optimal use of European Modular Concept as a means to promote multimodal interoperability of transport units and guarantee intra- and inter-modal compatibility of vehicles.”
Ivan Hodac, Secretary General of ACEA, added: “Further promotion of the use of the modular concept throughout Europe would have an immediate positive effect on transport efficiency, road safety and the environment. It would also ensure an increased drive towards intermodal road-rail transport solutions. Greater transport efficiency is needed to keep Europe moving.”
VDA President Matthias Wissmann underlined:”Field tests in Germany have shown that fuel consumption can be reduced by 15 to 30 percent per ton transported when using longer vehicle combinations. Furthermore, they also provide an interesting option to make combined transport more attractive as the road transport part would become more efficient so that overall transport costs for combined transport could be reduced. In order to cope with future transport growth, all modes will be needed and all modes should be made as efficient as possible.”