ESPO-EFIP Joint Position on the Revision of the Combined Transport Directive

26 April 2022

The European Federation of Inland Ports (EFIP) and the European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO) welcome the opportunity to contribute to the revision of the Combined Transport Directive 92/106/EEC. The EU Green Deal requires a 90% cut of transport emissions by 2050, which can only be achieved by reducing the emissions of each transport mode and while also setting targets to shift transport away from road. European sea and inland ports consider the revision of the Combined Transport Directive as an important tool to incentivise and promote the use of multimodal transport.

Competitive multimodal transport has been a core objective for the European Union since the Transport White Paper of 2011. The necessity of both reducing the emissions from each transport mode and achieving more combined transport by cleaner modes (inland waterway, rail and short-sea shipping) has only increased since. In 2020, this was restated by the focus on multimodal and combined transport in the Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy (SSMS). The SSMS proposes initiatives on combined transport in order to achieve a climate neutral European economy by 2050.

In European ports, rail, inland waterway transport (IWT), short sea shipping and road come together to link waterborne with land transport and provide their users the optimal solutions. As such, sea and inland ports are hubs of multimodal transport, which has resulted in an in-depth understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing multimodal transport. Any European initiative that intends to achieve the SSMS objectives should aim to strengthen infrastructure connections, interoperability and complementarity between the transport modes.

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