Benelux Transport Ministers Commit to Joint Vision on Mobility
The ministers of transport François Bellot (BE), Cora van Nieuwenhuizen (NL) and secretary of state Camille Gira (LUX), together with representatives of the Flanders, Wallonia and Brussels' governments have jointly drafted a 'Benelux Mobility Roadmap' at the Benelux Secretariat-General in Brussels on March 5th, 2018.
In the presence of transport associations and the European Commission, the three nations have hereby concluded to enforce their joint policies in the fields of transport and mobility. The ministers aim for the coming four years (2018-2022) includes maintaining and improving the excellence of the 'Benelux Hub' within intercontinental and European logistics, while simultaneously decreasing the negative side-effects that come along with being a major logistical center.
Benelux as European Powerhouse in Logistics & Transport:
The Benelux Union consists of three small countries, together only covering 1,7% of the total landmass of the European Union. Yet, in terms of transport the Benelux area is of great importance for international trade and logistics:
- 7% of EU road transport flows through the Benelux
- 21% of EU maritime transport can be contributed the the Benelux
- 24% of EU air cargo arrives / departs from and to the Benelux
- 78% of EU inland shipping crosses the Benelux
- The Benelux is home to the largest two sea ports in Europe: Rotterdam and Antwerp
- The Benelux is home to two 'TOP 5' cargo airports in Europe: Amsterdam Schiphol Airport and Luxembourg Findel Airport
- 1 out of 11 employees in the Benelux works in the logistics industry
Making better use of transport by rail and inland shipping while as well improving traffic flows by switching to intelligent transport systems can greatly contribute to the accessibility and sustainability of the region. The roll-out of refueling infrastructure for alternative fuels and charging points for electric vehicles in the Benelux region has contributed to an environmentally friendly transport environment. Streamlining access to environmental-friendly zones in Benelux cities is also an action point on the Roadmap. Finally, the joint commitment to innovation such as new forms of transport (drones, smart shipping, etc.) and digitization is also necessary to accelerate economic developments.
Pioneer within the European Union
The ministers and secretary of state have also confirmed to continue the role of the Benelux as 'test laboratory' for cross-border projects that have the aim of being implemented on an EU level in the long term. In the past the Benelux facilitated tests with cross-border road transport of large sea containers. In the near future new Benelux initiatives will be launched, including a test with heavy road transport trucks along the Netherlands-Flanders-Wallonia route. Another initiative in which the Benelux is pioneering within the EU includes the launch of a digital bill of lading, aiming to test the reliability and safety of a digital bill of lading serving as an controlling instrument for cross-border transport.