As united as ever for the future

It was agreements and mutual support that was on the agenda for todays annual meeting of Nordic Logistics Association. The four biggest road transport and logistics associations of the Nordic countries held detailed discussions September 29, 2015, on the issues of most importance for road transport and logistics operators in the north. High on the agenda was of course discussions on the awaited Labour Mobility Package and the Road Transport Package from the European Commission, which will contribute to shape the future framework for all road transport operations in the coming years in the EU.

The four associations confirmed their commitment to fight for fair and equal conditions for a Nordic road hauler against market abuses, illegal activity as well as social dumping, where the rules of the EU are just simply not good enough to ensure the fair competition for road transport operators.

“There is a huge frustration that EU's road transport policy is still being based on assumptions and old knowledge. Nobody seems to sit down and think why are we doing this or that – and the policy on cabotage is a good example. There is still a believe that cabotage is good for efficiency and empty running, but no one has so far managed to prove that it has had a positive effect. Instead you observe the same transport patterns as before in the Nordic countries, just carried out by other operators from other countries and with drivers from other countries. This is not more efficient in itself, it is just making transport cheaper with no benefit for our operators. EU transport policy need to go back to basic and rethink what our objectives are and how we best achieve them. Todays meeting showed that we are in the NLA as united as ever in our joint efforts to ensure that also in the future it will be possible to run a business as road transport operator based in the Nordic countries,” states CEO of NLA Søren H Larsen. “Our members are worried and frustrated by what is happening in todays market, and we share that worry and frustration. Our discussion focused very much on the need to make sure that the rules in the EU do not contribute to social dumping, but allows for fair competition on equal footing for all operators.”

NLA also met with MEP Ulla Tørnæs (DK, ALDE), who is vice-chair of the EMPL Committee in the European parliament, to specifically discuss the expected Labour Mobility Package and how it can impact on road transport. NLA and Ms Tørnæs had a detailed and thorough discussion on the relationship between labour market laws and road transport.

Representatives from the 4 associations members of NLA, including CEOs and Presidents, also had a discussion on further cooperation on how to assist Nordic haulers to meet the requirements from todays society, such as doing work for road safety and how to deliver environmentally and climate friendly freight transport. The Fair Transport initiative being run by the Swedish association Sveriges Åkeriföretag was part of this discussion.

“We have made the ground work and planning for the work of NLA for the next year. The meeting today proved once again how valuable this kind of cooperation between associations from different member states is, when you think of how many and diverse issues we have to deal with in the EU on behalf of our operators”, adds Søren H Larsen