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Road freight sector ‘needs post-Covid funds’

Road freight sector ‘needs post-Covid funds’

The trucking industry needs €75 bn from the EU to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic and prepare for new transport measures, according to calculations made by the International Road Transport Union (IRU). 

The IRU made the call during a webinar, following the announcement of the European Commission’s proposed €750 bn coronavirus recovery fund

Raluca Marian, general delegate of the IRU’s permanent delegation to the EU, said: “According to our calculations, and given the huge loss our industry has experienced and is still expecting, we need an envelope that amounts to about 10% of this budget for the trucking industry to embrace the future and focus on decarbonisation, digitisation and infrastructure.”

The road freight industry has been badly affected by Covid-19 and lockdown. Now it faces a new challenge in the form of the European Commission’s Mobility Package, which aims for the digitisation and decarbonisation of the commercial road transport sector. This is due before the European Parliament in July 2020.

Matthias Maedge, general director of advocacy at the IRU, said: “Logistics has been hit hard, but to put the figures into context – we have calculated that it would cost €64bn to exchange every diesel truck in Europe to an electric vehicle.”

EC’s Mobility Package

Speaking for the EC’s transport commission, DG Move, Elizabeth Werner said that funds for the road freight sector should be invested in projects that support the Mobility Package. 

She said: “We want to see the industry and governments invest in more automation in terminals and more electronic charging or road tolls and vignettes.

“These are big numbers and we want to transform the road industry. I think we can be pretty sure there will be investments in more sustainable infrastructure, alternative fuels, greening and fleet renewal schemes.”

She added: “However, the European Investment Bank is also looking at how it can help individual companies struggling with liquidity problems in an aggregated way.”

How do you think the EU should support the commercial road transport sector in the wake of Covid-19?

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