Importance of transport for the European steel industry
Transport costs represent up to 15% of the production costs of the European steel industry significantly impacting the global competitiveness of this industry.
Steel freight transport within Europe makes use of three basic modes including rail, road and water. Overall, the European steel sector remains the most important user of rail freight in the European Union (in 2006, steel transported by rail represented 22.10% of the total rail freight, whereas steel transported by road amounted to 5% and steel transported by waterways to around 15%).
The EU steel industry is open to the use of all modes of transport, and particularly in favour of the “co-modality” promoted by the European Commission.
Main challenges in the domain of transport
Transport and environment: Euroferinvestigates the impact of transport on theCO2 consumption in the context of EU policy combating climate change.
Internationalisation of external costs: A fair balance should be established between the tariff levels of the different transport modes. The present truck charging system in Germany should be considered as a reference.
Lack of wagons/ shortage of drivers: The transport sector in Europe currently suffers from a crisis (persistent goods transport wagon and drivers shortages owing to the increasing consumption). This worrying situation is particularly impacting the steel sector. In-depth analysis followed by actions on the Community and national levels addressing these shortages is necessary.
Promotion of the single wagon: This mode of transport is vital for the steel industry (50% of the total freight transported in the sector).
Introduction of longer trains: This measure would allow a better use of the transport capacities on a saturated European rail network and a fairer competition among transport modes, especially for the access of seaport hinterlands.
The introduction of the 44 tonnes weight truck in Europeiscompatible with the commercial development of the single wagon.
At EU level: Eurofer develops on an ongoing basis contacts with the EU Commission (DG Tren), the European Parliament (Transport Commission) as well as with European sectoral organisations based in Brussels, such as CER, EIM, EBU, IRU, and BusinessEurope.
At national level: Eurofer is in close contact with the rail operators, such as SNCF, DB, Veolia Environment and Euro Cargo Rail. In addition, contacts are also made with other institutions (MEDEF, BDI, BGL…).
The Eurofer Transport Committee is a plate-form, where members have a regular exchange of views on the transport situation at European and national levels.
The secretariat informs the members on recent developments in EU policy and legislation and prepares reports on specific items of key interest for the activities of the Transport Committee.
This committee iscomposed of representatives from both the European steel companies and national steel federations. Meetings are held twice a year.
The secretariat circulates the Eurofer Transport Press Review on a weekly basis to the members.