New Year’s greetings from ITD’s Chairman Gert Jakobsen
In the Danish transport industry we can look back at a year with great activity on all fronts. The figures from ITD’s border censuses confirm there having been historical quantities of goods to be carried across the borders throughout 2017, and nationally, we have also experienced more goods being transported. Generally, the atmosphere is good among ITD’s member companies, and many are busy due to the normal growth in society. But the growth is also a challenge, and there is no doubt that the lack of capacity and lack of work power is an important growth inhibitor worrying lots of people.
During 2017, many Danish transport and logistics companies have been beset by lack of capacity and lack of manpower. Especially from our members operating internationally, we hear them experiencing lack of capacity on European vehicles. The growth implies that the goods storages are bursting with goods, but there is no manpower to transport it. Growth implies in the countries today delivering large capacity of manpower to many Danish transport and logistics companies, that increasingly the manpower stays at home. At the same time, the competition is increasing between the European countries on attracting the qualified drivers. We must be prepared for it in future becoming far more difficult to attract work power for Danish companies from other European countries. If the development does not reverse, it may result in companies having to say no to orders to the detriment of Danish growth and profit. We must do everything to avoid that, and that is an agenda ITD must also in future follow closely.
In May 2017, the EU Commission launched the negotiation on a new road package. The road package is an important step towards new, improved, common EU rules for the road transport of goods in Europe. Two thirds of Danish export go to our neighbours in the EU. Therefore, a strong internal market is of great importance to Danish growth, and common EU rules are totally crucial to ensure fair terms of competition for transport and logistics companies transporting goods across European borders. The difficult negotiations are now in full activity in the EU, and in Denmark we work hard on contributing constructively to the negotiations and on ensuring a strong common result. It is an obligation which must succeed.
ITD wants fair competition in all fields. Therefore, we do not accept that the state-owned PostNord now wants to focus strongly on the mixed cargo and parcel market supported with Danish tax money because the normal mail business is as good as gone. It is absurd that the Danish and Swedish states now throw even more money after PostNord hereby entering direct competition with our members among the private transport and logistics companies. Therefore, in November we filed a complaint with the EU Commission regards illegal state aid to PostNord. ITD is in 2018 going to follow the matter through.
In 2018, ITD can celebrate its 70th anniversary. The association is fit, and we will use the year of anniversary to turn on the high beams and analyse the development for our industry up to 2030. The board has in September 2017 initiated the work on a growth strategy 2030 for Danish road transport of goods. The vision is, that Denmark in 2030 is to be an international power centre within road transport of goods and logistics business – and the growth must at a great extent be carried by ITD’s member companies. This requires that both ITD’s members and ITD develop themselves all the time. Future growth requires transport companies to be innovative, adaptable and not least abreast of the digital and technological development. The work on the growth strategy will involve many members actively, and therefore you are going to hear much more about this matter in the time to come.
Again in 2017, ITD had a good cooperation with many minsters in the Government and many politicians at Christiansborg. Not least we appreciate the cooperation with the transport political spokesmen. We hope, we can in the new year carry on the good cooperation and together help each other determine the most optimum frames for the transport industry. 2018 is likely to be an election year. We hope it will possible both prior to and after an election to work widely politically to find the best solutions for the benefit of our sector and Danish infrastructure making us able continuously to contribute in strengthening the Danish growth and national economy.
When I as chairman look back at 2017 in ITD, I do it with great pleasure. Because also in 2017, ITD acted as the association it is born to be: A meeting place for the members. I note with satisfaction that we have met many members and their employees during 2017 in connection with events at ITD. In June, we were pleased to meet many members at our briefing sessions on the road package. The large turnout shows, that the proposal for new, common playing rules for the European sector of road transport of goods is important for our members. ITD was also the meeting place during autumn, when almost 200 persons attended the information meetings on the coming personal data protection regulation. 150 persons attended the member meeting at Hotel Vejlefjord in October. And our many networks are in full activity, where many members participate or their employees do. It is very rewarding for all parties that we meet transversely and in fora providing value and meaning in our daily work.
Mark your calendar now: I am looking forward to seeing our members at ITD’s large Annual General Meeting Sunday 14 April 2018 in Odense. The day offers not only the Annual General Meeting but also the day and awarding of the Danish Transport Award. We all look forward to an exciting day together with many colleagues.
Gert Jakobsen, Chairman at ITD.
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