It was recently announced that there is to be some changes to existing customs procedures at ports in the European Union in order to improve the efficiency of shipping in Europe and reduce congestion on the roads.

At the moment there is a high demand for transit cargo which is causing congestion on roads and highways all over Europe, whereas short sea shipping lanes are being under-utilised.

At the moment freight shipping can appear unattractive to businesses because there is often a heavy administrative burden which can sometimes cause delays.  Sometimes shippings are left sitting in ports waiting for clearance before they can be on their way for hours and even days.

This is reflected in the statistics when we compare the popularity of the two different freight forwarding methods. A third of all freight travelling in the EU is transited by sea whereas half of all freight is carried on the roads.

In order to lighten this load and make freight shipping more efficient and a more attractive option, the vice president of the European Commission Siim Kallas has outlined two changes that are to be made.  Firstly EU goods are to be separated from non-EU cargo in order to improve shipping throughout Europe, and secondly customs procedures are to be streamlined to speed up the process.  Siim Kallas hopes that these changes can help to make sea freight as popular as road freight in the future.

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