Transport policy

Viable road freight transport

Mobility is one of the main prerequisites for individual prosperity and freedom, and for the domestic and international exchange of goods. However, the requirements for mobility is constantly developing. What we need is eco-friendly and resource-efficient mobility that can meet both, the individual needs of the citizens and the requirements of an economy marked by an ever increasing division of labor. Every mode of transport has its strength which must be exploited in the best possible way. From this perspective, developing both road and rail infrastructure is not a contradiction, but it is important to realize that some political dreams of shifting from road to rail bear no relation to reality.

The Federal Transport Infrastructure Plan 2030 contains many points leading in the right direction. It addresses the long overdue increase in infrastructure investments aiming at preserving and improving an efficient infrastructure. In light of the unsustainable condition of the road network throughout the country, which is the outcome of many years of insufficient funding, the VDIK supports the plan's focus on the preservation of roads and the improvement of bottlenecks in road sections with particularly heavy traffic loads.

It must be noted critically that the economic performance would surely have benefited of a more pronounced allocation of funds according to traffic loads. 73 percent of freight transport used the road network in the year 2015, with traffic forecasts assuming this proportion to remain almost constant at 72.5 percent in 2030. Considering the expected growth in the freight volume between 2010 and 2030 by 237 billion tonne-kilometers, the Federal Transport Infrastructure Plan assumes a volume of 170 billion tonne-kilometers to be transported via the road network. This means that the road network will remain the dominant mode of transport, both in terms of the absolute transport volume as well as the expected additional transport volume.

Together with other associations having a strong interest in well-functioning road transport and the corresponding infrastructure, the VDIK is actively involved in initiatives such as "Pro Mobilit├Ąt", and right from the outset also in the initiative for innovative commercial vehicles ("Initiative Innovative Nutzfahrzeuge" (IIN)). In the face of the constantly growing transport demand, the objective behind this initiative is to better utilize the autobahn space by using slightly longer trucks, which would ultimately reduce the overall number of vehicles or at least keep it the same as transport volumes rise.

The VDIK expressly welcomes the transfer of the field trial with innovative commercial vehicle concepts, also known as "long-haul trucks", which has been carried out since spring 2012 in a nationwide field trial, into the track-related regular operation from January 01, 2017. Vehicles will only be longer; their weight will not be increased.

The VDIK supports the initiative for innovative commercial vehicles developed by the transport and auto industry associations, as it will allow for a significant reduction of CO2 emissions in road freight transport. The joint initiative requires an objective discussion of the ecological benefits of such innovative commercial vehicles as well as of any potential concerns on the part of consumers. It is important to engage in an open, constructive dialog with all stakeholders on the basis of the findings gained in the field trial.