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ESC – European Shippers' Council

What is a Shipper?

Shippers represent the owner of goods being transported by any mode of transport, whether consignors (the traditional meaning of shipper) or consignee.

The definition of shipper has changed in line with the nature of international trade and transport: in today’s global economy shippers may contract third party logistics providers or freight forwarders to procure and manage their freight shipments; they will be responsible for arranging and managing that contract. (more…)

What does ESC do?

The Council represents the vast majority of goods distributed by sea, road, rail, inland waterways and air. ESC, based in Brussels, acts as the “eyes and ears” for its member organisations – the national shippers’ councils – in respect of EU legislative activity. Equally it functions as the mouth-piece for shippers in Brussels. It has the dual role of gathering and feeding back vital intelligence on current and future EU policy developments and directly lobbying for ESC positions vis-à-vis the European institutions. It does this in close co-operation with its members.

Discussing Cooperation In Shanghai


Policy Officer Lodewijk Wisse on joining ‘Intermodal Asia’.

Throughout the year and around the globe, conferences on logistics and transport take place. Last week ‘Intermodal Asia’ was organized for the first time. In – where else –  Shanghai. Shanghai after all has the largest seaport in the world. As a member of the Maritime Transport Council of the European Shippers ‘Council (ESC) the conference organizers asked me to discuss the European shippers’ views on current developments in the maritime sector.


EU trade surplus in goods with the US of 92 bn euro

In the run up to the summit between the European Union and the United States, to be held on 26 March in Brussels, Eurostat issued data on trade and investments between the US and the EU.

The US remained the EU’s largest trading partner for both goods and services in 2013. However, there has been a steady decline in the share of the USA in total EU international trade in goods over the last decade. While in 2002, the USA accounted for 28% of total EU exports and 20% of imports, by 2013 these shares had fallen to 17% and 12% respectively. (more…)

Brussels Update – Rail Transport March 2014


The ESC and many other organizations and experts expressed their deep disappointment at the first reading of the plenary European Parliament of the proposal of the Commission for the governance structure of integrated railway undertakings. On 26 February the majority of the MEPs supported the interests of these railway undertakings. So these undertakings won’t be compelled to separate the governance for their transport services from the governance for managing the infrastructure.
A missed opportunity for the liberalization of the rail freight market’: new entrants will still have to cope with the hurdles that make it difficult to compete with the integrated railway undertakings. In the opinion of the ESC this will prevent the entire railway sector from gaining a bigger share of the transport market, as the current level of the freight services won’t be improved. It is not to be expected that the Transport Council will decide otherwise, later this year.
Thought the EP supported the proposals that will improve the interoperability on the rail network, only a complete level playing field for all railway undertakings will produce competitive and more attractive services for shippers. (more…)

CASSANDRA Project Final Workshop

CASSANDRA Final Workshop on May 15th, 2014 14:00-16:00 in Brussels – Thon Hotel EU

Improving efficiency, security and compliance in international trade and logistics through IT innovation

The EU-funded project CASSANDRA kindly invites you to its final project workshop which focuses on presenting project results by logistics practitioners and Customs authorities, their experience from the activities in the Living Lab demonstrations as well as their perceived benefits from implementing the CASSANDRA approach; e.g. IT innovation such as the “Data Pipeline” for improved efficiency and security for various trade lanes between EU, Asia and Africa. (more…)


More than 100 organizations (rail manufacturers, railway undertakings, infrastructure managers, research institutes and universities and SMEs) now will contribute with their expertise to the SHIFT²RAIL initiative in its preparatory phase. The European rail sector started preparing this research and innovation  programme in 2011 in order to make rail transport more attractive for passengers and freight. (more…)

Rail Transport Governance

The proposal of the European Commission for creating Chinese Walls within RUs that both rail freight services and manage the infrastructure, has been discussed by the TRAN Committee of the European Parliament (EP) last December. The then reached compromise is acceptable for ESC, Clecat and ERA and will be discussed by the plenary EP on 26 February. (more…)

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