Advanced logistics solutions have a vital part to play in promoting Europe’s mobility, sustainability and competitiveness goals, the Commission states in its Communication on freight transport logistics.
Logistics (planning, organisation and execution of transport operations) currently account for 10-15% of the final cost of finished products and Europeans spend around 1 trillion euro each year on logistics expenditure.
The aim of the Communication, presented on 28 June 2006 in follow up to the Transport White Paper Mid-Term review (see EURACTIV 23 June 2006), is to optimise the use of all transport modes and facilitate their integration into a single supply chain.
This will allow European businesses to cut costs, giving them a more competitive edge and fostering economic growth. More efficient logistics chains will also serve to tackle pollution, congestion and energy dependence.
The Commission has outlined several potential areas of action:
- Promoting multi-modal transport chains and ensuring quality of service (especially for rail transport)
- Introducing smart technologies in all modes of transport
- Administrative simplification: establishing one-stop shops for customs formalities and physical checks
- Ensuring interoperability thanks to common European standards for loading units
An Action Plan for Freight Transport Logistics will be presented in 2007, based on the Communication and further consultations.