IRU members came together virtually this week to discuss key industry issues and vote on important new IRU policy positions. Updates included the impact of COVID-19 on commercial transport operators and IRU’s global call to action, a global driver treatment charter, digitalisation of TIR and trade corridors, and Mobility Package 1 enforcement for coach services in the EU.
IRU’s General Assembly, its Passenger and Goods Transport Councils and its Eurasian Liaison Committee met during the week, as well as the Presidential Executive (PE), IRU’s governing board.
Several external speakers and members gave special presentations on key topics, including Kuehne + Nagel on how they built a COVID vaccination distribution system from scratch, the head of Dubai Customs on TIR in the United Arab Emirates, and Spanish member Confebus on buses as a key element in new mobility strategies.
Important new policy positions were adopted by IRU members. The first is an emergency position on COVID-19 vaccinations for drivers calling for urgent action by governments and international organisations to introduce a digital, global and mutually recognised vaccination certificate for commercial vehicle drivers.
Members also adopted a new Green Compact, a collective agreement to make commercial road transport fully carbon neutral by 2050 based on five pillars: alternative fuels, Eco-trucks, collective passenger transport, vehicle efficiency, and driver training and monitoring.
The Compact, which follows on from IRU’s 2018 vision for decarbonising commercial road transport, guides commitment and collaboration on sustainability challenges in both the private and public sectors and in all areas that impact, and are impacted by, commercial road transport on a local, national, regional and global level.
Members are also urging governments to exempt commercial vehicles from urban vehicle access regulations (UVARs), in light of their central role in all urban mobility and logistics networks.
The Goods Transport Council also voted on an implementation plan for the TIR Convention’s Annex 11, which provides the legal basis for eTIR, to drive the next steps towards the full digitalisation of the TIR system.
Global charter unveiled
For members, IRU also unveiled its new global charter on improving the treatment of drivers at delivery sites, to be officially launched in partnership with the Global Shippers’ Alliance and the International Transport Workers’ Federation in May. The charter sets out commitments for shippers, transport operators and drivers to improve working conditions and keep global supply chains running smoothly.
The achievements of the industry’s most exceptional managers were recognised with the endorsement of 53 candidates for the IRU Award for Top Road Transport Managers 2021.
In his presentation to the General Assembly, IRU President Radu Dinescu looked back at a challenging year, but, looking ahead, stated:
“Together we will take the action needed to support each other, and our industry, in recovering and rebuilding from the pandemic.”