Axel Plaß
President DSLV Bundesverband Spedition und Logistik e. V.
Logistics for Europe:
An Initiative for a Sustainable and Prosperous Europe

There are less and less people in Europe that remember the times when there were real borders between the EU Member States. Prior to 1993, the year when the Single Market was completed with the ‘four freedoms’ (movement of goods, services, people and capital), transport, whether of persons or goods, was regularly interrupted by border controls.  For a long time, freight transport had to deal with a lot of barriers in Europe. Waiting times for logistics added up to thousands of hours until all formalities had been completed and all papers had been provided with the necessary customs stamps. Additionally, setting up affiliates in other Member States was also difficult and tied to strict requirements..

“Logistics companies and their customers from industry and commerce therefore highly value the Single Market without borders which ensures the free movement of goods.”

Operating in a Single Market, freight forwarders and international trade can do business without the huge administrative costs and waiting times which ultimately benefit the consumer. Unfortunately, many take this now for granted.

“The uncomfortable times of dealing with border controls have quickly been forgotten, as has the fact that the unification of Europe has ensured that we have been living in peace for more than 70 years.”

Populists with one-dimensional messages who see the solution to all social and economic issues in turning away from the common European idea and returning to nation-state protectionism must not be left to their own devices. Instead, they must be persuaded to do the opposite.  We witness that liberalisation of some services has been uneven across countries and sectors, even with some reversing trends due to some new national legislation, creating barriers instead of removing them.

“The European Union is worth all our efforts! Let us set an example and keep the world open! Become a supporter of ‘Logistics for Europe’ to ensure a prosperous European Union.”