European flat glass manufacturers organize thousands of transports every year to deliver products to their customers, utilizing tailored-made specific trucks to optimize efficiency and minimize transport-related emissions. Yet, optimization efforts are hampered by transport rules not fully harmonized across the EU and notably some Member States not allowing trucks beyond 40 tonnes.
On July 11, the European Commission (EC) published a proposal for revision of the Directive on the Weights & Dimensions of Vehicles which will impact the flat glass supply chain. Glass for Europe answered the EC consultation on this proposal by welcoming the provisions aimed at harmonizing rules within the EU but also outlining that the maximum weight of trucks with 5 or 6 axles should be increased from 40 to 44 tonnes. Increasing the allowed weight for flat glass inloader semi-trailers only could be a more targeted solution that is easy to implement and monitor due to the unique shape of these trucks, and it could reduce flat glass transport emissions by 7 to 10%.
The clarification made by the EC on the rules to apply when a Member State increases weight limits at national level is welcomed. If a Member State has the infrastructure and legal framework to allow for higher vehicle weights in national transportation, it should allow these weights for international transportation as well.
For more information about our position, check Glass for Europe’s updated paper, which contains consolidated proposals to improve the directive and up-to-date data on the topic.