More than 800 decision-makers from 52 member countries of the International Transport Forum debated last week in Leipzig, Germany, under the Canadian Presidency, the role of innovation in global transport by attending the successful 2010 edition dedicated to “Transport and Innovation: Unleashing the potential!” "Transport must seek new ways, and get better at its old ways, if it wants to overcome its dependency on oil and provide greener, safer, more efficient and more accessible mobility for all" said Jack Short, ITF Secretary General of the International Transport Forum.
Among the issues debated, participants discussed “Public Sector Leadership: New ideas Innovative Public Policy”, “Interconnected and Integrated: Optimising Intelligent Infrastructure”, “Supply Chains: Green and Efficient?”," The Wireless Revolution in Transport" or “Is the Future Electric?”
Further keynotes were delivered by Siim Kallas, Vice President of the European Commission, Amar Bhidé, Harvard University, Ian Goldin, Oxford University, Wolfgang Mayrhuber, CEO, Lufthansa, John Micklethwaite, Editor-in-Chief, The Economist and Horst Köhler, ex-President of Germany, who provided the audience with a very interesting and visionary speech (available in english, french and german on the UIC website at: http://www.uic.org/com/english/uic-zoom/article/successfull-edition-2010-of-the).
During the ministerial session, Transport Ministers from International Transport Forum member countries discussed policy innovations to foster innovation and create the transport system of tomorrow.
The large interest that UIC members have expressed for this kind of platform of exchanges was evidenced by UIC’s participation in the Forum and discussions through the participation of Jean-Pierre Loubinoux on the panel “Getting down to business: Partnerships for a more innovative Transport System” on 28 May. He said: “At a time when competition is growing and the whole transport sector is fragmented, it is neccesary to have more complementarity between the modes of transport, for intermodality, fluidity, and better communicating systems.
Partnerships (not only PPP, but also institutional,financial, industrial,…) are also needed to bring forward innovative ideas. As transport grows business and business grows transport, innovations are necessary with a business and service approach. Innovations mean expenses, however an expense today can be a saving for tomorrow. And the strict financial ROI (Return On Investment) shouldn’t be the only concern. We have to look at the benefit for society too.”
Two days before, Mr Loubinoux and Dr. Volker Kefer, Board Member of Deutsche Bahn’s Technology and Services, successfully launched the innovative web application “EcoTransIT World” at the 2010 International Transport Forum in Leipzig.
The innovative “EcoTransIT World” provides carbon footprints of supply chains for all transport modes – rail, road, sea and air – on a world level. The tool supports the design of smart transport choices where the sustainability advantages of each mode are exploited and combined in one joint system. It offers open access to forwarders, carriers and logistics service providers and gives free and reliable information on their carbon footprint in line with upcoming standards of green accounting. The user can enter any number of starting points, destinations and interim stops to visualise various transport combinations and compare their emission values. This makes it easier to decide not only which transport chain is the most economical but also the most ecological for his company. Further on, the user can draw up his environment balance quickly and easily for routes all over the world. “EcoTransIT World” can also show the chosen transport solution in Google Maps and Google Earth.
Jean-Pierre Loubinoux explained that “with “EcoTransIT World” we can provide reliable carbon footprints of logistics chains with all transport modes on a global level. ”EcoTransIT World” offers an important contribution to the ongoing discussions on how to measure greenhouse gas impacts of the transport sector. It provides a scientifically proved, fair and balanced methodology approved by neutral environmental institutions.”
In addition to logistics customers, EcoTransIT World addresses political decision makers and non-governmental organisations as it provides concrete support for analysing the environmental impact, planning good strategies for modal shifting co-modality, to increasing awareness about the consequences of the transport choices we make every day.
The next step is to invite interested partners to cooperate and join the “EcoTransIT World” consortium. The idea is to build the joint sector standard for carbon footprinting, reducing transport emissions and greening logistical chains. The EcoTransIT World Stakeholder Workshop will take place on 5 October at UIC HQ in Paris. The workshop is especially targeted at shippers, carriers and logistics service providers in the freight sector.
We invite you to try out “EcoTransIt World” at www.ecotransit.org