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Over the Alps to Italy: The economy: still work to do P.18 Keeping the Peroni flowing P.22

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Brussels moves to free up pan-European trucking

A new report presented by the European Commission on 14 April is calling for more liberalisation of the cabotage road freight market in the EU. Rules on market access should be clarified and a number of “archaic” restrictions removed. Under current rules, hauliers can only perform a

maximum of three domestic cabotage journeys within seven days of an international journey to the country concerned. According to the Commission, this is reducing the efficiency of the haulage industry in Europe and further opening of national markets would improve productivity. Easing of the three journeys rule would help reduce empty running back to the country of origin – one in five trucks on the roads of Europe is thought to be empty – and would cut carbon emissions. At present, cabotage accounts for only 2.5% of the total EU road freight market.

Official statistics suggest that Polish hauliers perform

the most cabotage in Europe (24%) followed by the Netherlands (11%) and Spain (9%) and the countries where the most cabotage operations takes place are Germany (39%) and France (29%). However, any moves to further liberalise cabotage

is likely to meet opposition from some member states. Barely a year ago, at the March 2013 Transport Council, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France and Italy opposed further liberalisation on the grounds that it would lead to ‘social dumping’ from lower-cost member states. The Commission’s report suggests instead a “gradual”

lifting of restrictions, but it has downplayed the harmonisation of social and labour conditions aspects, previously seen as a prerequisite for such a move. But its is unlikely that any decision will be taken soon, given the EU’s track record in this area.

West London firms back Heathrow

Airport businesses have mounted a Back Heathrow campaign as the debate on the future of the UK’s main air gateway hots up. Hounslow-based airfreight trucker Mixed Freight Services has turned one of its 18-metre yellow trailers into a billboard for the campaign. Founder Alan Smith said that the directors of the company had got involved because they were concerned about threats to Heathrow’s future and the lack of support from some politicians, despite thousands of local jobs depending on a successful hub airport in west London. He said: “We wanted to support the Back Heathrow

campaign by sending a visible message to politicians that Heathrow’s future affects people like the 70 employees working for our company. There are hundreds of thousands of jobs in the

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(l-r) Alan Smith, Owner, Mixed Freight Services; Rob Gray, Campaign Director, Back Heathrow; Adrian Newell, Director, Mixed Freight Services

Recruitment 2 17

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Hapag Lloyd and CSAV to merge

Manston airport in survival battle

Minister frees up Dover funding

Washington passes P3 agreement

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