IRU looks to set the world in motion

IRU launches manifesto focusing on prosperity, people and environment

Global road transport group the International Road Transport Union (IRU) has published a new manifesto calling on organisations, governments and industry stakeholders to safeguard the role of road transport in driving economic prosperity.  

The manifesto, For a world in motion calls on global economies to seize the opportunities within the industry by highlighting the areas where intervention is required across its three core pillars: prosperity, people and environment.

IRU Secretary General, Umberto de Pretto (pictured above, inset), commented: “IRU was established to promote international trade and transport links in the wake of the Second World War. Today, trade remains the driving force behind international prosperity and demand for road transport is only increasing. Our job at IRU – and the purpose of our new manifesto – is to bring together governments, public authorities and businesses at the global, national and local levels to ensure that everyone in the industry has a voice and works together for mutual benefit and progression.”

IRU’s key calls to action:

• For the industry to speed up digitalisation; encouraging transport companies to go paperless and urging international governments to increase the use of technology-enabled freight exchanges and systems such as fully digital TIR at borders.

• As geopolitical uncertainty and difficulties entering the sector for new providers and workers pose risks to the growth of the industry, IRU is encouraging governments to revise transport policies with modal co-operation; to set appropriate rules for professional driver requirements; and to define a harmonised framework for better data access and governance.

• In Europe, roughly one in five driver positions is currently unfilled and levels of both women and younger employees remain extremely low. The industry is still lacking the basic infrastructure for drivers, such as safe and secure truck parking areas. IRU is calling on international governments to improve safety and security for drivers, and to create a more positive image and better working environment. Together with its members, IRU has developed a road map on driver shortage, calling for improved funding for safe parking areas and driver training alongside a managed transition to autonomous vehicles.

• Already transport operators are taking significant leaps in the use of more sustainable transport alternatives, driving greener mobility and logistics. Yet there is still some way to go before the long distance, heavy duty commercial road transport industry fully adopts alternative fuels, including natural gas or synthetic fuels and alternative powertrain solutions – such as electric and hydrogen fuel cell technology. IRU is advocating efforts to accelerate the market uptake of high capacity vehicles and promote research into new approaches to commercial vehicle access in urban areas.

 Umberto de Pretto continued: “The calls to action laid out in our manifesto are a clear signal to policymakers and to the road transport industry that there is work to be done. As the global voice of road transport, IRU is leading the charge and forging greater collaboration between industry stakeholders to implement the necessary legislation and infrastructure, and ensure the sector’s future success.”

Founded in 1948, IRU has members and activities in more than 100 countries and has been managing the only global customs transit system for moving goods across international borders (TIR) since 1949.