Office of Planning, Environment, & Realty (HEP)
Good afternoon or good morning to those of you to the West. Welcome to the Talking Freight Seminar Series. My name is Jennifer Symoun and I will moderate today's seminar. Today's topic is Understanding the Policy and Program Structure of National and International Freight Corridor Programs: International Scan.
Before I go any further, I do want to let those of you who are calling into the teleconference for the audio know that you need to mute your computer speakers or else you will be hearing your audio over the computer as well.
Today we'll have three presenters - Renee Sigel from the Federal Highway Administration Pennsylvania Division, Eric Madden from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, and Ernie Perry from the Missouri Department of Transportation.
Renee Sigel is the FHWA's Division Administrator for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. She heads an office of 40 professionals that oversees an approximately $1.4 billion Federal-aid Highway Program in Pennsylvania. Under Renee's leadership, the FHWA has been working with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation on numerous important initiatives to improve the safety of our transportation system and the project delivery process. She serves on the FHWA Freight Council.
Ernie Perry is the Administrator of Freight Development at the Missouri Department of Transportation. Currently, he is working on freight projects to re-establish freight traffic on the Missouri River, improve freight movement on a major interstate, develop an international aviation freight hub, and increase speed and reliability on a shared-use passenger-freight rail corridor. In addition to the International Freight scan, he serves on cooperative freight research panels, and participates on AASHTO technical and policy freight activities.
Today's seminar will last 90 minutes, with 60 minutes allocated for the speakers, and the final 30 minutes for audience Question and Answer. If during the presentations you think of a question, you can type it into the chat area. Please make sure you send your question to "Everyone" and indicate which presenter your question is for. Presenters will be unable to answer your questions during their presentations, but I will start off the question and answer session with the questions typed into the chat box. If we run out of time and are unable to address all questions we will attempt to get written responses from the presenters to the unanswered questions.
The PowerPoint presentations used during the seminar are available for download from the file download box in the lower right corner of your screen. The presentations will also be available online within the next few weeks, along with a recording and a transcript. I will notify all attendees once these materials are posted online.
One final note: Talking Freight seminars are eligible for 1.5 certification maintenance credits for AICP members. In order to obtain credit for today's seminar, you must have logged in with your first and last name or if you are attending with a group of people you must type your first and last name into the chat box. I have included more detailed instructions in the file share box on how to obtain your credits after the seminar. Please note that today's seminar is not yet available on the AICP web site. I will send out an email to everyone who registered once it is available for credits. Please also download the evaluation form from the file share box and submit this form to me after you have filled it out.
We're now going to go ahead and get started. Today's topic, for those of you who just joined us, is Understanding the Policy and Program Structure of National and International Freight Corridor Programs: International Scan. As a reminder, if you have questions during the presentation please type them into the chat box and they will be answered in the last 30 minutes of the seminar. The presentation is going to be given jointly by Renee, Eric, and Ernie, so Renee I will turn it over to you to get started.
Welcome to all who are participating. It is good to be here today. Speaking for Eric and Ernie we are all very glad that you asked to participate today. First let me start with a little bit of explanation for those of you who are not aware of our international technology scanning program. This program is jointly funded by Federal Highway and AASHTO. It is used to better understand how other nations are addressing their transportation programs. We seek out and evaluate international practices that could improve the performance of the United States highway system. Generally I think Federal Highway and AASHTO sponsor several scans a year and this scan is also sponsored by the NCHRP and we looked at integrating a corridor approach to freight planning. I will start this off and turn it back and forth to Eric and Ernie.
The first the objective is straight forward. We wanted to look at the institutional, organizational and administrative structure of freight corridor programs of the European Union. We wanted to see how they selected and prioritized corridors. We are very aware they had a freight corridor in the European Union. We wanted to know how they financed and managed these programs. We wanted to know if they had performance standards and wanted to know how they worked with international collaboration and interacted with private sectors stakeholders. As you all know, in the US we have a lot of private sector stakeholders. Those were the objectives we left the United States with last August.
We had a great group of participants. We had three Federal Highway representatives, Tony Furst who was a co-chair. We had a representative from the US Department of Commerce. We had three State DOTs represented. Ernie and Eric from Pennsylvania are here today and Ernie was a co-chair. We took along representatives from the I95 Corridor Coalition as it is well-established here in the United States. Because we are looking from a North American perspective, we had two people from Mexico and Canada. We had some folks from the private sector and we had a member from TTI; he was our recorder. There is a great looking picture of a group later in the presentation.
Where did we go and why? Our first stop was Brussels, Belgium. That is where the main headquarters of the European Commission is located. We actually began and ended our trip here so we could meet with the European commission folks, get some background and primary information and then we went out and visited the five countries. We came back and did a follow-up with the European Commission. We needed clarification on additional questions and of course we heard different things from the countries and we wanted to confirm what we have heard. It was a great way to conduct this. We went to five countries. The five countries were selected primarily from the standpoint of if they had multimodal corridors they selected. They had 30 corridors so these countries had some key parts of these corridors. The other way we selected these was we wanted to make sure that the older member countries and new member countries were both included. So that is why we went to Hungary and Poland as well as the new member countries. Ernie I will turn it over to you to give us comparison.
My name is Ernie Perry with the Missouri Department of Transportation. I agree with Renee's comment earlier, it was a fantastic trip and a great group of people. We visited these countries to look at freight corridors and see how they fit in with the people and passenger systems and overall how various governments and transportation systems work together. Especially in terms of these freight corridors. They do not work in a vacuum. When we look at demographics, we can see that the EU is much denser than the United States. There is more history, more people, and less space. Their historical locations are important, just like here in the transportation planning and development. We heard numerous times that in project planning, they have run into trouble with the historic areas. The standard of living is pretty high and in terms of what these people are investing in the transportation infrastructure: in the United States we are somewhere around 2% in our GDP, the EU's range is around 5% of their GDP and in China it's about 9%.
On our scan, there were a lot of smaller cars and diesel engines. We saw lot of telematic and ITS usage. We also saw a lot of focus on decarbonization and green movement. We saw electrification of the system and smaller vehicles and less consumption. They were also pushing freight in various modes. We also saw that there tends to be a priority of moving people over freight due to the density over there.
In terms of the characteristics, freight movement is comparative in the EU and the US. In terms of ton miles, we can see that road and rails in the United States are both very heavily weighted with a lesser amount allocated to the waterways. In the EU, there is the ever present push to green transportation, but road transportation of freight clearly dominates. They also use waterways for sea shipping which is about 39% of their ton miles.
Germany's toll facilities do not allow trucks on the weekends unless they are carrying specific loads, such as live animals. We were told that before they enacted these regulations, weekend trips to grandmas were basically ruthless traffic jams. For trucks, toll rates are lower for clean vehicles which incentivize many of them to sell off old vehicles for newer cleaner vehicles. We also saw that the environmental interest in the EU. There is a push in the freight rail and waterways to accommodate some of the environmental and congestion issues. These mode shifts are complicated due to the passenger services.
Good morning, this is Eric. I'm going to look at the key findings that we discovered on our two-week trip. It was very eye-opening. We basically layered our findings into five separate areas. The first area is policy. This looks to see how to keep everyone going in the same direction. Next is the planning process which looks to put the meat on the bones. Sustainability is a keyword that we have here in the United States and now we are going to see what that truly means in the EU. Implementation, this is where the rubber meets the road. We have the planning process, but how does this actually come to fruition. Finally, we have the operations or getting everything up and running.
These are some of the findings we found in terms of the policy. It was very evident that in every country we went to, there is a true unifying vision. They had found that most of them are competing globally with not only individual countries, but global sectors. For example it is the North American sector versus the South American sector versus China or the North African sector. We discovered that if they did not get to a point of having the EU be able to connect some of the dots such as the connectivity of corridors and economic development or commerce, they would not act as an overall sector and not be able to compete. Their overall vision and policy allowed them to see how to connect the dots of societal goals. The member states, they call the member states but they are individual countries, began to fully realize they cannot afford to go in this alone and so they bought into this a bit. They provided an overall stable policy and we able to put much more money on the table when they did things collectively. When you have a stable vision like that, it makes things more attractive for the private sector in terms of financing.
There is that good-looking group that Renee referred to. That shot was taken on day 15, so we may be looking a little ragged. I agree with Eric and this vision of a single marketplace in a single community in the EU of these 27 various countries, was palatable. You could see it in every presentation they gave us and everybody you talked to and visits we made. I liken it to the vision of the development of the United States interstate system. How do we mobilize 50 states to work together? In the EU, how do they do with 27 individual countries? It is a huge task. The EU and China have learned what we seemed to have left behind with some of the interstate area investments. They are investing in these corridors based transportation system, and it works. We also saw this vision which was not about all about economics, but about the environment and decarbonization and sustainability. We also saw their use of multimodal. They use every one of their modes to make these systems work and provide for the passengers. Moving people is one of their priorities.
Getting back to some of their other policy visions, there was a little bit of an interesting economy. As much as they wanted to complete globally in moving freight and goods, you look at much of the infrastructure in place, either or waterways or rail. Much of that is prioritized for passenger traffic. It was funny; there is a tremendous amount of water activity in the rivers around the EU. They had a very interesting way of characterizing their boat structure. You had white boats which had a very pure image. The white boats were the ones that carry the people. Then you had the dirty boats which were going throughout the rivers as well, they were the freight boats. So there was a stigmatism that they're trying to get over between the white and the dirty boat. Both are critical to moving economic development forward. But it is amazing how when you see prioritization on passengers, freight has to catch up a little bit.
Particularly under rail, there is a harmonization which has to come into effect because of the prioritization towards passenger. Looking at rail, most of the countries have these operations are run by smaller entities and operate within a country's borders. To do anything in a long corridor aspect is difficult because the spacing between the rail changes. It basically changes depending on who owned the rail at certain times. So you have to change the gauge and the electrification and harmonize between different countries as often times you will have to move through three or four countries to get to one end point. Particularly in Germany, the main lines which are pretty much like our interstate system here are all tolled. There are primarily for truckers, and they are tolled the most. The railroads are pretty much subsidized because they are primarily used for public transportation.
In terms of policy integration, what I saw from the States perspective is useful as we develop the authorization and possible corridors programs down the road - it was interesting to see how the policy integration of the EU tried to wrap some of the transportation policy with incentives that are designed and formalized to direct other aspects of society. We saw related incentives on logistics of how businesses were completed. For example, the Port of Rotterdam, to meet air quality regulations, had the contracts that include stipulations on modal share: 35% trucks 45% barge and 20% rail. Pricing is related to emissions. Newer, more efficient vehicles pay a lower toll rate. Not only are they collecting the toll system, but they are trying to enforce air quality issues. We saw examples of people getting out of cars and onto public transportation and we saw how trucks are kept off certain roads on the weekends and holidays for passenger traffic priority. This whole concept of freight corridors is related to integrating economic development, market development and the transportation system.
Let me talk a little bit about the planning process and I will try to pull all this together for you. The European Commission has done some things prior to the 1990s with corridors, but that is when they really got into it and laid out some of their first corridors. That's when they came up with their first 11 or 12 priority projects. It made up their original network. It was not based on any data. It was pretty much from 11 projects that were provided by the original member states.
Let me give you an idea. If you look at a map on the left, there are about 30 corridors. In 1999 to 2003, they added corridors to this. You will see that it was a bottom up approach. They put these 30 corridors projects, and I prefer to call them projects, together because as you can see, some of the red lines kind of stopped mid-country. These were self identified in the member states as their priority freight projects. This is not based on any analytical or market-driven approach. That was the 1990s and early 2000. In 2009, the European Commission launched a new approach to let me go back real quick.
To look at what they are calling a core network and a comprehensive network. Let me start with the core network. This is a top-down analytical approach determined at the EU level. This would be a broad, upper-level driven system. It would be anchored on key population centers, major freight generators, and would be very much based on things like freight volume, grounded in fundamental and hard facts, and would be stable over the long term. It would be multimodal as far as freight movement goes. It is looking at long-distance and international traffic flows, and links to existing infrastructure. The core network would really only look at expansion where it is absolutely necessary. The other interesting part they are looking at now, and this is not finalized, is that they could be conceptual corridors with the fact that they may not be mode specific. They may say from port X to capital Y is a corridor, but they may not say whether it is a highway freight or rail corridor. They may say it is a key corridor for freight movement and leave it at that, not defining a mode. This would focus on the higher volume critical key areas.
Then you have a comprehensive network they are proposing. This is a bottom-up approach and allows the member states to put together a network that includes their individual regional interests. They would define these interests. Again it would be multimodal. Everything that each member state would submit would be part of the comprehensive network.
Okay, on the right side of this slide, you get a feel for the red network that would be the idea of what would be part of a core network for Germany. What was really interesting from a future freight planning process possibly in the United States is looking at a core network for a freight system in the United States. One of the things I probably should have said in the beginning was we found the timing of this freight scan to be very important from our own national freight planning standpoint. This is a great opportunity for us to look at the freight planning they were doing and the European Union in light of the fact there is a lot of interest in DC and headquarters and with Congress in looking at more comprehensive freight planning. The planning of this was really interesting. That was the planning process. Ernie, do you want to add some things?
These are some of the things that I thought were interesting. In the United States we have 50 states which we have to plan and work together, but they have only 27 member states. They do have a more complicated process given some of the history and divisions they have had across the EU in the past. I think that is reflected in one of the transitions we saw in the planning process. They are currently moving from a benefit-cost analysis as one of the core features of their planning process to a multi-criteria process. That is going to try to reflect all the various constituents that they need to include in their planning process and all the variables and determinants that are beyond just the cost of the project and what they might determine.
Another neat thing we saw was the European Investment Bank. They call themselves a policy investment bank and I thought that was pretty neat. I took it to mean that their capital activity is purposeful and is designed to further EU policy that is impacted by these infrastructures. They are not only looking for a return on investment, they are looking for the return on their policy. It was also interesting to learn that the European Investment Bank has developed their own analytical staff to ensure that they provide accurate traffic, income and growth projections that will support their position. They want to know that if they finance a project, there will be growth and traffic there to help replenish that fund. That was very interesting from a planning perspective.
The other thing that we discovered was in regards to sustainability. We will tell you that as we visited all the countries, they explained to us how it was important to be an economic player to be a part of the union to move goods throughout the EU. Every single one of them came out and said that we are absolutely very sensitive and very cognizant of climate change and sustainability. It was amazing how they honestly believe that global warming and climate change is very real and something has to be done about it. They are using transportation as a driver, if you will, to actually address some of the issues of sustainability.
Here are some of the examples of how they are actually driving this discussion. We learned that in Germany they are tolling there interstates. If you look at the engine cabs, those that pollute the most have a higher toll to pay. If you are responsible and have a cleaner truck, there is a less tolling burden on you to use the system. In Rotterdam, which is a large and expansive port and they are still expanding. The new expansions they have, and the new terminals they are setting up, have contracts with new tenants which basically say that 65% of the goods coming in and out of that port have to go out in a mode that is non-truck. It does work when you have the rail system that they have in Rotterdam. They also have a very comprehensive shipping that network. It is a challenge, but it is not something that is out of reach for them. They are trying to use transportation as a driver that can better their environment.
This is some of the misalignment we noticed. As much as they were pushing everything from freight to the rail system, the rail system is still priority passenger. If there is a freight train and a passenger train is coming down the track, a freight train has to pull over on the side to allow the passenger train to move through. Of course, I mentioned about the white versus the dirty boat also. You can also look at issues of the toll collecting in Germany and the toll use is for the heavy trucks only. So they are using transportation as a vehicle. There is a little bit more work, but we have to applaud them for the effort and guts it takes to put some of these things into action.
This slide should actually be called "funding and implementation." Let me start from a funding standpoint. You will see in the dark red, most of the funding for their freight corridors and projects still comes from the member states. An example, from 2007, they are estimating between 2007 and 2013, about $106 billion will be provided by the member states for freight corridor projects. During this same time, the EU Union will probably only find about $8 billion worth for the project. So you'll see on the chart that the member states provides a large portion of the funding. You will see the European Investment Bank, which is very successful, and I will talk about it in a second. In 2009 alone, they had about 11.9 billion in Euros. It was originally funded by contributions from the member states, and it appears that it is pretty much self-sustaining. You can see there are various sources of funding. I will talk about the cohesion fund and the TEN-T funding in a minute. So as I mentioned, the member states do the bulk of the funding but there is about $8 billion available over a six-year period from the EU.
The EU has various funding programs. They have different than the programs for new member states versus more developed and original member states. The less developed member states are eligible for money out of a cohesion fund. This cohesion fund is to reduce the economic and social disparities between newer countries that joined the EU and the older, more established entries in the EU. That is pretty much based on GDP of the country. The cohesion fund can fund up to 85% of the projects in a country. So like Hungary and Poland, they were using a lot of cohesion fund money from the European Union for their freight corridor projects.
Next is the multi-year funding. Many of the countries were very envious of the Federal Aid Highway program in the United States with its multi-year funding. They would like to have 5 to 7 year funding programs in the member states. The European Union funding is a multi-year funding, and that is positive. As I mentioned above, member states provide the bulk of the funding, and most member states have single year appropriations and authorizations. It makes their long-term planning for projects very difficult. I have already talked about the European investment Bank.
There is a different between the new member and original states. The new member states are trying to bring the standard of their system up to that of the older number states. We are dealing with a lot of Eastern European countries that just do not have the interstate and rail infrastructure that the other member states have. In many member states they do have the rail infrastructure and they are trying to do more ITS type things and to fill in bottlenecks.
There is no harmonized tolling policy. The tolling processes over there are all over the board. It would not be unusual for a truck to have four to six different toll collection articles in the cab of that truck. Many countries use stickers, like a permit. Germany has a GPS-based system. One country has a radio-frequency based system. There are also multiple ways of determining what the toll is. Some based on distance, some on emission, some on all vehicles being taxed. In Germany they only tax the heavy trucks. Hungary taxes all vehicles. The only unifying policy that I believe we saw was the EU does have a cap on tolls that the member states can charge so that it cannot the totally disparate. The only way a member state can substantiate a higher rate is if they actually based the toll on actual maintenance and operating costs of that specific highway.
Another interesting thing is the EU project coordinators. This was a really good finding from the scan. On their projects that cross member state borders, such as maybe between France and Spain for example. Many of these were assigned project coordinators from the European Commission. The goal of these European coordinators was to serve as a project facilitator. If any of you have worked on, in the United States, a cross state project maybe a bridge or state between or highway between two states. You know we run into many complex issues. There are memorandum of agreement for differences in traffic procedures, differences in project development and environmental policies. There are also differences in permits and a lot of times developing these cross state projects are complex. In the EU, they have gone to this project coordinator for many of their cross border projects. Many times this person has a political influence and has come from a political arena. The purpose behind that is so they have credibility to meet with heads of state. So if France and Spain's leadership cannot reach an agreement on a cross border project, this coordinator would step in. They have the ability to call the heads of state in France and Spain and meet with them individually or jointly to resolve the issues on the project and keep it moving forward. Their goal is to resolve issues to keep the project moving forward. What we heard from the European Union and the member states is they found this to be very successful in keeping their cross border projects moving.
I guess it is up to me to explain how this works in terms of an operation. We have a planning process, the sustainability, the implementation in terms of how we start getting this to work and what are the findings of the operation. There are still some gaps, particularly in the roadway and rail system. When you look at the roadway and you look how complex Germany's system is in terms of tolling their primary road systems, it was only for trucks.
Some of the bordering countries, they toll both trucks and cars. As you begin to cross borders, you come across difficulties. Not only is a car tolled in Hungary, but it is not tolled in Germany. We have the issue of the tolling technology. If I am a trucker and I am tolled in Hungary, but I cross over into Germany it is a completely different tolling system. I have to have a different pass device so I can get picked up by the tolling system. It was interesting, we saw this one truck which was hauling international freight and it had four or five transponders on the dash. As it crossed the borders from country to country, it would need a new transponder to be picked up by the system it was entering. As much as we are trying to do the interoperability here, like on I-95 on the East Coast, much of that needs to be taken for complete harmonization in the EU for the tolling technology.
We are absolutely very fortunate in the states to have a rail system, primarily Class I railroads such as Burlington Northern, Union Pacific, and our Canadian partners. The Class I railroad standard is the same border to border. From Long Beach all the way to the Port of New York New Jersey, the standardization of rail is developed the same. The gauges the same, it is very easy. They just have to change the engine sometimes. That is not the case when you go to the EU. There are certain types of gauge that stop at the border and you have to change everything, locomotives and the cars. So there is much to do in regards to that.
There is one stop shopping for freight movement, like we have oversize and overweight here. Like truckers have to stop if they don't have a permit to go state to state to state because of weight limits. The same thing happens on the freight rail system in the EU. Just to have a one stop shop where someone can go to the EU and try to go from one place to the next, and find out what is the one type of locomotives or car that I need that will allow me to transfer all the way through? What permits do I need to get all the way through?
Some of the things we saw on the ground were also very interesting. One of the neater things is the express rail. I used PTC, but that is probably not the correct term. When we were in Berlin we visited a traffic management center for the rail system. In there they are basically controlling the movement of intercity express trains, commuter rail trains, and slower freight trains all within this one room. Given our efforts in the US increase passenger train speeds, their traditional approach is something we should take a look at. They have developed these systems and are working through those problems and hazards.
We also learned that about 85% or more of their rail system is electrified. That is great for their decarbonization, but it limits the stack containers and some of the heavier freight movement. We also saw some self-propelled barges. The tolling process in Germany is worth noting. Only trucks over 12 tons are tolled. It is rare for anyone to avoid a toll. They use satellite technology as well as patrolling vehicles to regulate compliance. They have compliance of 99% with their toll system. Unlike in the US, we did not see very many F250 pickups or Suburbans running around. Their fuel process requires a little bit more analysis in how they are going to make the system integrate, as well as to track every move they make. I will wrap it up here and we will hope to have a good question and answer session. What we had discovered is we are absolutely envious of the way that the EU has a unifying vision. It is great to have that unifying vision.
Going from a myopic view to a multijurisdictional, international, regional view of how things actually are critical. They all realize they cannot do it alone. To be competitive sometime you have to join forces. The alignment of the policy, all deployed in the same direction is great. The international interest was critical, because you get to combine financial resources. You may not be the recipient of all the dollars at a certain point in time, but essentially they will come back around. There are challenges with harmonization of the transportation system, particularly across borders. There is a fact based analysis. When you have a true market driven approach in terms of what is a true core system, it helps deliver a system that people can buy into. It can also bring a level of common sense when you're trying to deliver something to the public. It is important to have the fact and figures behind it to deliver the message.
If anything, this one hits home for us as we are going through the piecemeal of the reauthorization. Having the value of a multi-year, stable funding is absolutely critical. Long-term vision is nothing if you do not have the dollars through multiple years to help get there.
One thing, and we do this every time we go way on vacation, you always come back and appreciate home. We cannot undervalue what we have here in this country. I have used the example before, the EU has the overall vision and they know where they want to go but they don't have the pieces in place to get there. We are the opposite. We have all the pieces in place; we have one heck of an interstate system and the national highway system and rail system, primarily through the efforts of the private industry. We have a very good port system, although we are a little shy in short sea shipping. We have all the pieces there, but we don't always have people running in the same direction. We have all the pieces, but we don't necessarily have the vision. Hopefully that will change as we go through the next reauthorization and we began to knock down the barriers between the truckers versus rail versus water. We need to realize this is about our economic competitiveness with China, India and the rest of the world. This concludes what we have to say, but we would like to hear what others have to say.
Eric, we should mention that a final report on our scan will be published later this year. We are also putting on an executive summary of our scan results. Finally, we have developed an implementation plan for many of the things we learned. These are things we want to continue here in the United States. I will put my plug-in for the Partnership Meeting in the beginning of August. One of the things we are doing is bringing over two representatives from Europe. Is that right Eric?
We are bringing Helmet who is one of the implementers from the EU and another is a gentleman by the name of Zsolt from the tolling facilities in Hungary.
Both of these individuals will be coming to the meeting in the first week of August, which Ernie can provide details on. As I mentioned, their foreign comprehensive network and their policy on that should be formalized by July. We hope to hear an update from them on their reaction to their corridor planning policy in August. That is also part of our implementation plan. Are there any questions?
I want to mention to everybody that I will bring up the slide with the web site information. We will share the report, the executive summary, and everything else that is available through the Freight Planning LISTSERV. The slide will have the address for you to join if you are not already a member. It is also the way that information is distributed about upcoming Talking Freight seminars. So let's start at the top with the questions. Do Europeans have a regional approach for each corridor? Are all countries or regions concerned by a concerned by a corridor working together?
They do now. That is part of the reason why they have had much discussion in terms of identifying the core and comprehensive network. Many of the corridors that have crossed borders immediately become a regional transportation issue. I will toss it over to others who may have comments as well. I can probably say this was a regional and international concept of planning that was not necessarily in place several years ago. Now through the EU and this network they are thinking much broader.
We saw several examples of projects that one member country thought was a critical regional freight infrastructure, but it ended at the national boundary because the country the project went into did not place the same amount of priority on it. So this idea behind corridor comprehension that they are entering into, their goal is to eliminate that and have a more unified approach.
Thank you. We have two related questions. How do the prices of moving freight compare to the freight rates in the United States? What is the EU price of diesel for trucks and barges versus the US prices?
I didn't look at the price of diesel. When you are over there, you have so many options in terms of movement doing trains, planes, and many other options versus vehicles. So you kind of stop looking at gas prices, a very pleasant experience given today's environment. I will tell you that trucks still carry the bulk of the freight in the EU. That is the same as it is here. Trucks here carry 78% of the goods here, and that figure will not change much. There is a lot of the freight, and if it is not carried on barge, it is still carried on trucks. Fuel is more expensive there than in the United States. While we applaud their efforts to move as much as they can to the rail. It is just not truly there yet because they do have the harmonization issues and gauge differences. So moving freight using just-in-time delivery, you cannot yet do it there.
Someone had commented that they believed trucking in the EU was fairly cheap because of the competition.
There is competition between the truckers, yes.
How is waterway and sea shipping taxed or subsidized?
They do have a Marco Polo program to try to move some of the freight onto the sea shipping programs. That does have some subsidies, but I don't remember what they are nor am I sure what their tax rate is. What we did hear is that on some of the waterways there are complications on who has the finances to take care of the locks and dams. There are some coordination problems across these countries with that as well.
Do EU truckers generally stay overnight at home or in motels? If not, are there specialized facilities like electrified truck stops to minimize idling?
I don't know if I can answer that question. I guess all that depends on the industry itself. From what we see here in the United States, we see that there are actual people to get into the cabs to do long hauls, but most of the senior drivers just want to do day-time deliveries so they can go home at night. I don't know exactly what the trends are in the trucking industry in the EU in terms of are they having difficulty in getting drivers.
Also, what sort of partnership did you observe in the EU between the environment and transportation agencies to work on carbon reduction goals?
Much has gone into developing the comprehensive core network. Those are exercises that have not been done in a vacuum. It is a very different approach there. It is interesting in that as we visited with all the countries, and we sat down with the Ministry of Transport officials in various forms, they didn't need anybody from the environmental community to tell them this is what we want to do in terms of reducing the carbon footprint. When I said before, this is something they truly believe, they truly believe this. They do not need anybody environmentally to tell them. They believe it and they will use transportation to get to their goals.
Let's go back to the Port of Rotterdam. The reason behind their port's modal shift was because of the environmental impact statement they have done for the expansion of the port. So that modal shift was a mitigation measure. I think what you find a little bit different here is that there they had set their overall goals at the EU as well as the individual country level for reducing their carbon footprint. All industries were acting together to reduce their carbon footprint. In the case of Germany the tolls are based on the emission level of the truck. Over 50% of the trucks were the dirtier, more polluting trucks when the toll went into place. Within five years, the majority of truck fleets have changed over to the cleaner engines. So I think it was a case of the transportation agencies reaching out to meet their country or EU set else for reducing the carbon footprint.
Can anyone elaborate on the Rotterdam new terminal leases requirement of 35% truck, 45% barge, and 20% rail?
It was definitely as a result of the Port of Rotterdam wanting to accept the larger ocean-going freight vessels. So they were filling in the bay and had the environmental impact statement. One thing they experienced is, remember a large part of the freight movement is by truck in Europe, so they are doing a lot of interesting things at the Port of Rotterdam. For example, they right now have a pilot project going on where they pay people if they do not travel on the main highway in and out of the Port of Rotterdam during the peak periods. So if you volunteer to be in the program you give them your license plate number. If your license plate is not photographed on the main highway during the peak periods of travel, at the end of the month you are mailed a check. I don't remember the amount, but it was like a dollar a day. So you could make money by not traveling on the main interstate in and out of that port. It was a pilot project with a report to follow. That is how concerned they are with the emission levels being produced by the trucks.
On the terminal leases, they are required to put more of their freight, once it is offloaded from the large ocean-going vessels, more onto barge and rail than what currently happens. About 50% of the freight that comes off the large vessels was actually be moved out by truck. So these new terminals have to commit to moving more going by barge.
I think it even had to do with their renewed contracts. I heard them correctly, next time contracts come up with existing tenets they have to adopt that as well.
Do you know how the private sector, both shippers and carriers, has reacted to the emphasis on reducing the carbon footprint?
I don't believe we had much of an opportunity to speak with the shippers and carriers. We had a conversation with the association that railroaders paid into and had representation at the EU. Railroaders were supportive of the overall concept. They were one of many partners in helping develop what is defined as a core and comprehensive network. As with everything, there are many cooks in the kitchen and they fight over the ingredients, but to come up with the same dish. But, I don't believe this topic was brought up in any of the direct conversations with the shippers or carriers.
I don't see any questions typed in, but we have plenty of time. So please continue to questions. I will also ask that the operator gives instructions so that questions can be asked over the phone.
Please press star and the number one on your telephone keypad to ask a question. Again, if you would like to ask a question, please press star and the number one on your telephone keypad. There are no questions at this time.
Okay, what I'm going to do, it looks like we have a few people typing in some questions. We may have some audio cutting in and out. I will look into what might be causing that. In the meantime, we'll give people a few more minutes to ask questions. There is a comment that I can read to see if any of the presenters would like to comment on it. Many shippers that are partners in EPA's Smartway Transport Partnership cite pressure from the EU government as one of the reasons why they are participating in Smartway here.
They had a much more accepting philosophy or culture toward accepting some of these changes. When asked about accepting tolls or emissions, the response was that it is our obligation and responsibility to do this. It wasn't one of well it is being forced on us. It was definitely much more acceptance of that versus what we see here in the United States. This is my second scan to Europe, and I have to admit on the first scan it was very similar. When asked about congestion pricing in London, when asked about some of the forces of, for example if you buy a car in Denmark you pay three times the amount of the car due to taxes. So if you pay $10,000 for a car, you're going to pay another $20,000 in taxes. They were much more accepting of doing this.
If you think of more questions, please feel free to type them in. I'm going to go ahead and read some of the closing information.
Thank you all for attending today's seminar. The recorded version of this event will be available within the next few weeks on the Talking Freight website. As a reminder, if you are an AICP member and would like to receive 1.5 Certification Maintenance credits for attending this seminar, please make sure you were signed in today with your first and last name or type your first and last name into the chat box if you are attending with a group of people. I will send out an email once this seminar is posted to the AICP web site. Please download the evaluation form and email it to me after you have completed it. Please also download the CM Credit instructions if you are unsure of how to obtain your credits for today's seminar.
The next seminar will be held on May 18 and will be about Clean Ports. This seminar is not yet available for registration but I will send out a notice through the Freight Planning LISTSERV once it is.
It does not appear that we have any other questions, so we will end a little bit early today. Thank you to all the presenters. We will make sure that scan report will be sent out to everyone once it is available. Thank you everybody and enjoy the rest of your day!