The Association of European Vehicle Logistics (ECG) has celebrated its 20th anniversary with an event this week at the Autoworld museum in Brussels, attended among others by European commissioner for transport, Violeta Bulc.
Since March 1997, the association has represented the common interests of vehicle logistics companies at a European level both to regulators and lawmakers in Brussels, as well as to the sector’s car and truck manufacturing customers.
Today, with 100 members, the association has become a significant voice for the vehicle logistics industry, as well as a resource for training, standards and, soon, forecasting.
ECG president Wolfgang Göbel (pictured) noted that from the beginning, ECG was represented by a mix of trucking, rail and shipping companies, making it a rare of example of a multimodal lobby group among Europe’s transport associations.
The association, originally named the European Car-Transport Group of Interest, began with around 30 members, most of which, Göbel noted, are still operating in the sector, although few exist in the same form, with many having been absorbed or taken over during ongoing consolidation in the vehicle logistics sector.
At 100, membership is at record levels for ECG and has recovered significantly since dropping to the low 80s after the 2008 financial crisis.
Today, with the European automotive industry at healthy levels, Göbel pointed to an association and an industry developing positively. He noted that collaboration and dialogue with executives from carmakers was again strong, including for working groups focused on areas such as quality, and using in-vehicle telematics for tracking and tracing vehicles.
“Our communication with the OEMs has risen and fallen at times over the past 20 years, but today it is highly active,” he said.
Göbel also said that ECG was focused on the impact of digitalisation in the sector, including ways in which logistics providers could better use data to predict and control their operations.
For the first time, the association’s board has agreed to invest in a standard forecasting tool. “This will be done with ECG’s own funds, and will help create a standard that can be used across the sector to improve data analysis and forecasting,” he said.