Traffic avoidance actions go beyond taking freight off the roads; they innovate by integrating transport into production process. They make the whole supply chain more efficient. They can do this, for example, by cutting the journey distance, increasing loads, reducing the number of empty runs or reducing the amount of waste. These efficiency gains must not, however, be at the expense of jobs or total output.
Two traffic avoidance projects have received funding from the Marco Polo programme so far, both under the 2009 call for proposals. One - known as Sirius2 Crating - is using an innovative packing and palletising system to avoid the transport of empty bottles by road between a bottled water production plant in France and logistics platforms in Germany. The other, known as Double Loading Network, consists of two projects in one. One of these is using a two-level semi-trailer for carrying non-stackable pallets. The second uses a form of semi-trailer that can carry jumbo-sized sheets of flat glass on the outward journey and that can be converted into a semi-trailer for transporting conventional freight pallets on the return trip. The service is running along several routes covering a wide area of Europe.
Traffic avoidance actions must lead to a shift from road to other forms of transport of an average of 80 million tkm per year per contract or 4 million vehicle kilometres a year. A subsidy of up to 35% of the cost of the action is available, but the subsidy can never be more than €2 for each 500 tkm or 25 vehicle kilometres of road freight avoided and the deficit of the project. Ancillary infrastructure costs can be included up to 20% of the total eligible costs of the project Funding is for projects lasting three-to-five years. Actions must cover at least two countries, either two Member States or one Member State and a nearby third country. Find out more on how to obtain this funding at 'Getting funds'