Every year, more than 2.3 million trucks travel back and forth between the EU and the UK. These vehicles are the life blood of our interconnected economies, supporting all sectors and industries by bringing raw materials, spare parts, supermarket supplies and finished products to their users and end consumers. As such, road transport is a trade enabler whose contribution goes far beyond its considerable direct economic and employment footprint.
Ending the transition period without an agreement between the EU and the UK is not an option for our industry. We believe reaching a robust compromise on a road haulage chapter as part of such agreement is both achievable and indispensable.
It is in the interest of all parties to allow heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) to move back and forth between the EU and the UK and transit through their respective territories in a way that is economically viable, without resorting to the reintroduction of haulage permits and quota systems that were never intended to cover volumes of trade as high as those currently taking place between the EU and the UK.
We strongly believe the way forward lies in a reciprocal solution between the EU and the UK based on mutual recognition of standards, competences and certificates to provide for adequate safeguards in terms of fair competition, environmental performance, road safety and working conditions for drivers. Road freight transport operators on both sides of the Channel are committed to operating to high standards in these areas.
Failing this, one would face a disheartening choice between a patchwork of fragmented national arrangements, and a world where the shortage of transport capacity on EU-UK routes is endorsed as official policy (quota of permits). Either option would be to everyone’s loss.
Time is of the essence. We call on negotiators to focus on their shared objectives -preserving road connectivity through balanced, reciprocal arrangements- and use the remaining negotiating time to deliver an outcome that is economically sensible and allows the road transport industry to play its role as an essential trade enabler across all sectors of the economy.
Signatories of the open letter
1. AEBTRI, Association of Bulgarian Enterprises for International Transport and Roads, Bulgaria
2. AFTRI, French Association of Road Haulage & Passenger Transport, France
3. AISÖ, Working Group of International Road Transport Companies, Austria
4. AMÖ, Federal Association of Furniture Freight Forwarders and Logistics, Germany
5. ANTRAM, National Association of Public Goods Road Transport, Portugal
6. ASTIC, International Road Transport Association, Spain
7. BGL, Federal Association of Freight Transport, Logistics and Disposal, Germany
8. CESMAD BOHEMIA, Association of Road Enterprises & Passenger Transport, Czech Republic
9. CESMAD SLOVAKIA, Association of Road Enterprises & Passenger Transport, Slovakia
10. CETM, Spanish Confederation of Goods Transport, Spain
11. CLC, Luxembourg Confederation of Commerce, Luxembourg
12. DTL, Danish Transport and Logistics Association, Denmark
13. ECG, The Association of European Vehicle Logistics, Belgium
14. ERAA, Association of Estonian International Road Carriers, Estonia
15. EVOFENEDEX, Netherlands
16. FEBETRA, Belgian Royal Federation of Transporters and Logistics Service Providers, Belgium
17. FIAP, Italian federation of professional hauliers, Italy
18. FinMobility, representing Finnish employers’ and business organisations in the mobility sector, Finland
19. FNTR, National Association of Road Transport, France
20. ITD, Association of Danish road transport of goods, Denmark
21. IRHA, Irish Road Haulage Association, Ireland
22. IRU, World Road Transport Organisation, Switzerland
23. LINAVA, The Lithuanian National Road Carriers’ Association, Lithuania
24. Logistics UK, United Kingdom
25. MKFE, Hungarian Road Transport Association, Hungary
26. NLF, Norwegian Road Transport Association, Norway
27. OFAE, Hellenic Federation of Road Transports, Greece
28. RHA, Road Haulage Association, UK
29. SVERIGES AKERIFÖRETAG, Swedish Association of Road Transport Companies, Sweden
30. TLN, Transport and Logistics, Netherlands
31. UICCIAA, Italian Union of Chambers of Commerce, Italy
32. UNTRR, National Union of Road Transporters, Romania
33. ZMPD, Association of International Road Carriers, Poland