"Proud of the fact that the Netherlands is leading the way in Europe to be the first to introduce zero-emission zones for city logistics"
We recently spoke with Dutch State Secretary Stientje Van Veldhoven about emission-free city logistics and the mission of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management.
One of your milestones is the signing of the ambitious city logistics implementation agenda. You aim to have at least 30 to 40 completely emission-free cities by 2030. This timeline seems ambitious and is shorter than the timeline proposed by neighboring countries.
Can you give a brief introduction about the mission of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management and your vision on how it should be fulfilled in 2021?
The introduction of zero-emission zones for logistics in cities is an important step in making mobility more sustainable. We want to introduce these zones in 30 to 40 larger cities from 2025 onwards. This is important, because emission-free city logistics further reduces greenhouse gas emissions, improves the air quality and improves throughput through new logistics concepts. The zones are an important intermediate step on the way to completely clean road traffic by 2050.
I think it is important to implement the transition to emission-free city logistics gradually and carefully. Entrepreneurs thus have sufficient time to switch to an emission-free vehicle at a moment that is convenient for them. The City Logistics Implementation Agenda (Dutch: 'Uitvoeringsagenda Stadslogistiek') contains clear agreements on this with municipalities and with the sector. I think the great thing about the implementation agenda is that the actions for emission-free city logistics come from the sector itself.
I am proud of the fact that the Netherlands is leading the way in Europe to be the first to introduce zero-emission zones for city logistics.
How do you ensure that the technical IT infrastructure solutions that we devise and implement in the Netherlands can also be used in the rest of Europe? The trucks, which deliver goods in Maastricht as well as in Liège and Aachen, do not have to purchase different providers (with their own hardware) for this? As a data company, we see lack of coordination in logistical operations. This is mainly due to non optimal planning as all the relevant information is disintegrated and static regulation by governments, for example the window times.
Sharing data is very important. It is good that governments and companies are working together to improve this. I, therefore, find it very valuable that Simacan as a data company has now also signed the implementation agenda so that we can together make this a success.
The government has an important role to play in facilitating data sharing. Security, cybersecurity, is also an important aspect. We are working to standardise and unify local and regional regulations and exemptions. Sharing data is also necessary outside the Netherlands. I think that we as the Netherlands have an exemplary function, and that we should share our approach openly and develop it further, together with our neighboring countries.
If a new Cabinet has been formed, what message would you like to give to the new minister/state secretary when it comes to urban distribution?
Making city logistics more sustainable is a wonderful challenge. The introduction of zero-emission zones is a concrete measure, from which people immediately experience positive effects. On one hand, the air will become cleaner and the road traffic quieter, and on the other hand, it will put the Netherlands at the forefront of making transport more sustainable. Here, we show the innovative strength of our transport sector.