EC authorises German aid combined transport terminals
Brussels, Belgium – The European Commission has decided today not to raise any objections to a German aid scheme to support the construction of combined transport terminals. The aid scheme is a prolongation of a scheme which has been approved by the Commission in 2002 and does not contain fundamental changes compared to the previous scheme.
Combined transport suffers from a competitive disadvantage in relation to road transport because of the transhipment that has to take place in this type of transport operation. If both the operational and construction costs had to be borne by the pure revenue generated with the transhipment it would take too long for the terminal to become viable and attract investors to the business.
The previous aid scheme has improved the competitiveness of combined transport considerably. The transhipment facilities funded on the basis of this scheme have engendered a shift in the transport of goods from road to rail and waterways in the order of 16 million tonnes a year in total. It is expected that the demand for combined transport will continue to grow significantly until 2008. Furthermore, combined rail/road transport and combined waterway/road transport via German terminals should increase by 45% by 2008.
In order to cope with this expected growth, German authorities intend to continue promoting the use of rail and inland waterway transport. Promoting a modal shift from road transport to rail and inland waterway transport is in the common interest and in line with European transport policy. The Commission has therefore authorised the prolongation of the scheme.