14 B ULK D ISTRIBUTOR
and Department Head of the Logistics and Transport Management
study major, pointed out Pakistan. Up to now, US$60 billion has
been invested there, and most of the projects have been completed.
As a result, Pakistan’s GDP growth increased from 3.5 percent to 6
percent between 2013 and 2017, according to Chinese data.
However, it is also clear that China is pursuing geopolitical interests
in the region and in particular with regard to India.
On the other hand, 70 percent of the Silk Road countries have a
GDP/per capita income that is below the global average according
to Breinbauer. There is a high demand for infrastructure investment
between Europe and China, which cannot be met without China. A
functioning infrastructure is in turn the basis for industrialisation and
further economic recovery.
“Consequently, Chinese policymakers see the opportunity in this
region to build regional value chains that beneﬁt all participating
countries,” Breinbauer explained. Chinese investments in crisis
countries can also stabilise the region, ie, generate a kind of “peace
return”. “Multilateral and above all Chinese investments in
infrastructure and logistics should also beneﬁt European
companies,” he added.
On 4 June, the China Communication and Transportation Association,
hosts ‘China-Europe-Blocktrain – Bringing The Silk Road Alive’, from
15:30-17:00 in Hall B2 Forum II.
Then on 5 June, the weekly magazine Verkehr, stages ‘The New Silk
Road – Where is the Hype Leading Us?’. 16:00-17:30, Hall A4 Forum III
transport logistic Preview
ccording to Eurostat, road freight transport is by far the
most important mode of transport in the EU, accounting
for more than 75 percent of the total.
At 71.8 percent, Germany is almost at the same level, but the
shortage of drivers has become a threat to supply reliability. In
addition, there are threats of cost increases due to new climate
protection requirements. The new Silk Road and the Mobility Pact
The EU countries have decided that the carbon dioxide emissions of
commercial vehicles should decrease by 30 percent by 2030
compared to 2019. An interim target of 15 percent is to be achieved
by 2025. If the targets are missed, there is a risk of ﬁnes which,
according to the Automobile Association VDA, could threaten the
existence of vehicle manufacturers, especially since the targets might
only be achieved by half. For ﬂeet operators, the EU requirements
will in any case result in signiﬁcantly higher acquisition costs.
The autopilot did not replace humans in aircraft cockpits. It will not be any different with trucks
In this context, the World Road Transport Association (IRU) noted
that “the largest share of road transport emissions is accounted for
not by commercial road transport but by the use of private vehicles,”
according to IRU president Christian Labrot
Attracting new talent
Compared to the shortage of drivers, however, EU policy is only a
side stage. “Currently, 21 percent of all jobs in freight transport
alone are vacant,” Stefan Rummel, says managing director of Messe
München. For this reason, the shortage of drivers will also play an
important role in the conference programme of transport logistic.
Five discussion forums are devoted to this pressing issue alone. IRU
has launched a ‘Tackling Driver Shortage in Europe’ campaign to
raise public awareness of the importance of this issue and to provide
solutions and attract new talent to the sector. “The least used talent
pools are young people and women. The challenge is to recruit these
types of candidate while keeping experienced drivers at work,” says
Own market investigations by the Federal Association of Freight
Road Transport Logistics and Disposal (BGL) have shown that the
shortage of drivers could be alleviated with an improved image of
the profession and increased appreciation, ie, pay levels.
“Likewise, industrial and, above all, commercial companies must
implement improvements in the organisation of their loading and
unloading ramps in their own best interests,” BGL spokesperson Prof
Dr Dirk Engelhardt stresses. The problems begin “with unpredictably
long waiting times to time-consuming and cost-intensive problems
when exchanging pallets as well as sometimes unacceptable hygienic
conditions and in no way end with pronounced improper manners
In addition, the lack of parking spaces, which has also existed for
years, would have to be tackled more intensively — not the least for
Discussions about autonomous driving have made it even more
difﬁcult to recruit young drivers. However, Prof Engelhardt believes
that the fears that drivers will become unnecessary in the future are
unfounded: “The autopilot did not replace humans in aircraft
cockpits. This will not be any different with trucks.”
Truck drivers are not only driving, but they are also the companion
of the goods entrusted to them, responsible for the handover to the
recipient as well as for transport and load securing. “And ﬁnally, only
a person is able to intervene in events unforeseen by technology.”
The IRU also sees increasing automation as no threat to the
profession of drivers: “However, there will be more driver assistance
systems in trucks, and so the tasks of drivers will change. The
profession could thus develop more into a technology-based logistics
manager role and consequently become more attractive for tech-
savvy millennials,” Labrot predicts.
More weekends with family
The EU Mobility Pact, which the BGL expressly welcomes, should also
provide momentum in the search for drivers. The planned obligation
for truck drivers to return to their families and the obligation for
internationally used trucks to return to their country of registration
after four weeks at the latest has been assessed particularly positively.
The BGL sees a further success in the inclusion of the proposed
driving time pay surcharge by a maximum of two hours for truck
drivers who are on their way home on the weekend. This would
allow many drivers to spend the weekend with their families even in
the event of unforeseeable delays — unless they are away from
home on the new Silk Road.
In the future, the ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ will provide new trade
and transport opportunities across Eurasia, which could also beneﬁt
road freight transport. The new Silk Road will contribute to a
signiﬁcant increase in transport volumes between Europe and China.
“However, this will have no impact on the global modal split.
Maritime transport will continue to transport 80 percent of goods,”
Labrot states. However, new inland transport routes are emerging in
Eurasia that take account of changes in regional trade and transport
patterns. According to Labrot, “there could be a slight regional shift
from rail to the more ﬂexible and efﬁcient mode of road transport.”