ESC: Time for Europe to go Green

Published Oct 20, 2014 7:27 PM by The Maritime Executive

Nik Delmeire, the newly appointed secretary general of the European Shippers’ Council (ESC), has said it is time for businesses to measure, monitor and reduce emissions by freight transport. At the same time, the new European Commission should reduce existing trade barriers in the European Union. “Together these innovations can spur economic growth and create jobs”, says Delmeire.

The ESC, representing the freight transport interests (by all modes of transport) of business in Europe, appointed Delmeire as their new Secretary General on Monday at its General Assembly in Brussels. His main goal is to put shippers, who are at the heart of the European supply chain, also at the heart of policy making. To underline this vision, Delmeire made the case for reducing both emissions and trade barriers in order to increase the competitive edge of European trade and industry.


A former Chairman of the Belgian Shippers’ Council and Vice Chairman of the ESC, Delmeire familiarized himself with the (European) political arena. His 20 year career in supply chain makes him understand the needs of ESC’s members. “That’s how I know that for shippers it is essential that they have a voice in European policy making”, he said. “To accomplish this, we want to work with organizations and policy makers to improve efficiency, cut costs, increase security and green Europe’s supply chain. Much like we do with CORE (Consistently Optimized Resilient), one of the largest European research projects for supply chain security innovations.”


Delmeire stated that Green Freight Europe (GFE), the leading industry driven program to support companies in improving the environmental performances of freight transport in Europe, can move European industries toward CO2 neutral freight transport by 2050. “A key success will be that the industry demonstrates that it has a plan to deliver this and there is an organization to drive it. Europe can only realize CO2 neutral freight transport if we provide a reporting platform that enables companies to report data in a standardized way and benchmark it in order to stimulate improvements. And there is such a platform, so let’s use it.”


Delmeire added that it is essential that the new European Commission of president Jean-Claude Juncker eliminates red tape within the Union. The ESC wants to see one single European transport market providing the freedom of choice for businesses that contract transport services – which is still not the case. Also, the European guideline for weights and measures should permit goods vehicles of 44 tons for international transport. 

Delmeire: “This could reduce the transport costs for companies significantly. It would also be better for the environment.” The ESC also wants a joint European reporting center set up for governments and the business community for complaints about the supervision and differences in interpretation of European legislation. “If shippers can green Europe’s industries, the Commission can liberalize Europe’s market.” The ESC will present its plans to new EU Commissioners Šef?ovi? and Timmermans.