Germany defines its national transport strategy
May 11, 2011 - SCMR Editorial
While the global consensus seems to support “green” supply chains, the cost/reward ratio remains a question. At this week’s International Exhibition for Logistics, Mobility, IT and Supply Chain Management in Munich, Germany, several prominent industry spokesmen will address this issue.
“Green logistics’ is an important subject for the transport sector, and is becoming increasingly so all the time,” said Germany’s Federal Minister of Transport Peter Ramsauer. “Despite a forecast of up to eighty percent growth in long-distance transport volumes by 2050, we must meet the requirements for climate and environmental protection, because reducing the impact on the climate can also offer companies great potential for efficiency, which can contribute to cost-savings.”
?According to Ramsauer, Germany’s “Freight and Logistics Action Plan” is a strategy that aims at combining growth in transport with environmental and climate protection, particularly in trucking.
?“However we are not focusing on compulsory measures, but on the commitment of the industry,” he said. “Many companies have already become active in this respect, using modern drive systems, training drivers in fuel-efficient ways of driving and implementing newly developed programs to optimize their route planning.”
He also noted that the strategy supports the development of uniform standards for calculating the carbon emissions of logistics services and the environmentally-friendly design of delivery transports. This is especially crucial for what he calls the “last mile.”
“Freight centers will become logistics hubs that will contribute to bundling transport and reducing the number of delivery vehicles going into cities that are already very polluted,” said.
Furthermore, he said, Germany is turning its attention to promoting combined transport as an intermodal transport solution.
“Here the environmentally-friendly transport carriers rail and waterways contribute to shifting traffic off the roads and to reducing carbon emissions in freight traffic,” he said. “In addition we have an innovation program in which we promote the purchase of low-emission heavy commercial vehicles.”
“Eco-conscience versus commercial imperative – how green can logistics (afford to) be?” is the theme of the event which ends this week. Deutsche Bahn CEO Rüdiger Grube, and Lufthansa Cargo CEO Karl Ulrich Garnadt, were also among the speakers in a panel discussion.
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