On 10 May, the Benelux Secretariat in cooperation with the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management organised a roundtable on decarbonising freight transport under the Dutch presidency of the Benelux Union.

This roundtable, which took place at the Automotive Campus in Helmond, the Netherlands, aimed to bring together the relevant ministries of the Benelux countries and North Rhine-Westphalia, transport federations, car manufacturers, electricity grid operators and other players active in the decarbonisation of freight transport. It was the first time that truck and bus manufacturers were involved in such a meeting.

During the day, the objectives, challenges and possible points of cooperation to accelerate the decarbonisation of freight transport in the Benelux and North Rhine-Westphalia were discussed, such as sizes and weights of zero-emission trucks, hydrogen station pressure, communication protocols and planning and availability of charging stations for freight transport. The day ended with a visit to DAF Trucks in Eindhoven, which recently opened its new assembly plant for electric trucks.

The conclusions of this roundtable will be taken up by the Benelux-NRW Working Group on Alternative Fuels - Electric Mobility. It should also be recalled that although the Benelux area covers only 1.7% of the European Union, freight transport accounts for a significant share: 5.9% of road transport, 41% of inland navigation, 25.4% of maritime transport and 33.1% of air transport.