The International Road Transport Union has published a manifesto that calls on international organisations, governments and industry stakeholders to safeguard the role of road transport in driving economic prosperity.
It calls on global economies to seize the opportunities within the industry by highlighting the areas where intervention is required across three core pillars: prosperity, people and environment.
Prosperity: promoting better mobility and logistics
Digitalisation has the potential to transform road transport, with new realities such as open data and Mobility as a Service significantly reducing costs and driving efficiencies. However, many parts of the sector have yet to adapt. IRU is calling on the industry to speed up digitalisation; encouraging transport companies to go paperless and urging international governments to increase the use of technology-enabled freight exchanges and systems such as fully digital TIR at borders.
Meanwhile, geopolitical uncertainty and difficulties entering the sector for new providers and workers pose risks to the growth of the industry. So IRU is encouraging governments to revise transport policies with modal cooperation, set appropriate rules for professional driver requirements, and define a harmonised framework for better data access and governance.
People: standing up for our communities
In Europe, roughly one in five driver positions is currently unfilled and levels of both women and younger employees remain extremely low. The industry still lacks the basic infrastructure for drivers, such as safe and secure truck parking areas.
IRU is calling on governments to improve safety and security, and to create a more positive image and better working environment. IRU has developed a road map on driver shortage, calling for improved funding for safe parking areas and driver training alongside a managed transition to autonomous vehicles.
Environment: building a more sustainable world
There is still some way to go before the long distance, heavy duty commercial road transport industry fully adopts alternative fuels, including natural gas or synthetic fuels and alternative powertrain solutions – such as electric and hydrogen fuel cell technology. IRU is advocating efforts to accelerate the market uptake of high capacity vehicles and promote research into new approaches to commercial vehicle access in urban areas.
“The calls to action laid out in our manifesto are a clear signal to policymakers and to the road transport industry that there is work to be done,” IRU Secretary General, Umberto de Pretto, said. “As the global voice of road transport, IRU is leading the charge and forging greater collaboration between industry stakeholders to implement the necessary legislation and infrastructure, and ensure the sector’s future success.”