18 March 2020
As multimodal hubs critical to the smooth and continued functioning of multiple European supply chains, European Inland Ports will play a critical role for the European economy during the coronavirus crisis.
In that respect, inland ports call on Member States to note the critical functions undertaken by inland ports and take measures to support and ensure the continued operations of ports at this time.
Concretely, in the context of border closures, EFIP calls on the relevant European and national authorities to ensure borders remain open for the transport of goods and facilitate the uninterrupted supply of goods across borders. EFIP is particularly concerned by reports of restrictions currently in place for inland shipping between inter-EU borders. Such instances of disruptions to the supply chain will have serious negative impacts at a time when critical supply chains need to be maintained and supported.
Friedrich Lehr, EFIP President, commented: “In this challenging time, the correct measures need to be taken to ensure Europe continues to supply for its citizens, and inland ports are central to these critical European supply chains. We thus emphasise the need for member states to recognise this role and update their measures and guidelines accordingly.”
European inland ports have been monitoring the situation since the earliest reports of disruption and have put in place contingency plans related to multimodal shipments and personnel.
Inland ports will continue to play their role and ask that national and European authorities also play their role in ensuring they can continue their critical functions.
(c) Port autonome de Liège