Shipping companies and shipowners request 45-foot containers for European roads

The industry calls upon Member States to harmonize their legislation and allow these trucks to circulate freely.

The 45-foot containers that are transported through the Short Sea Shipping are met with the problem of continuing their journey when they reach Europe’s roads, because in some of the member countries its circulation is not allowed.

This is considered a detriment both for short sea shipping (SSS) transport in general as well as for the ports, ship owners and shipping companies, who understand that regulatory differences between EU countries limit the possibilities of transporting by road one of the main units used in maritime transport.

The European Community Shipowners’ Association ECSA, the European Sea Ports Organization ESPO and the Federation of European Private Port Operators (FEPORT) sent a joint letter to the EU Council in 2014, urging the states to adopt a “sensible approach” on the movement of 45ft containers in the European Union.

The European Commission then proposed that, in the case of intermodal transport trucks capable of carrying such containers could circulate freely if these units were being used in SSS.

However, the European Parliament’s Transport and Tourism Minister did not accept the proposal from the Commission, limiting travel by road for vehicles with 45-foot containers beyond 150 km from the port where they were unloaded.

For all these reasons, the associations that had previously appealed to the international organisation have now asked Member States representatives on the Council to support the initial Commission proposal as the most balanced option.

For these associations, the European Union should not miss the opportunity to encourage intermodal transport by harmonizing transport of 45 ft containers, so they request for the trucks with these containers to be able to move freely.

Most efficient loading unit

The Short Sea Promotion Center of Norway has also recently criticized lack of certification of the the 45-foot container by the ISO, despite the efforts made by the Short Sea Promotion Centers to encourage their use in the industry and achieve the certification.

For the Norwegian Association, the 45-foot container is widely accepted as the most efficient unit for intermodal freight transport and is fully compatible with European law.

The 20 “and 40” containers “are not fully satisfactory” for SSS because they do not allow optimal loading pallets and isopalets. Moreover, with these the maximum dimensions permitted for road transport are not exploited, as argued by the association.

Source: Cadena de Suministro