Delegates are heading to the ECG Conference in Germany next week in search of positive signs for European vehicle logistics. ECG is the Association of European Vehicle Logistics and its 2013 conference takes place at the InterContinental Hotel in Berlin on Friday October 11th. The annual meeting brings together the region’s OEMs and finished vehicle logistics service providers, along with suppliers to the outbound sector, for networking, presentations and knowledge-sharing. This year’s theme is ‘Staying ahead in difficult times’.

Key speakers at the event include Egon Christ, senior manager for worldwide transportation at Daimler (pictured). Christ chairs the joint working group on vehicle logistics set up between providers and ACEA, the European automakers group.

They also include Lutz Quietmeyer, manager of distribution schemes in Europe for the Renault Nissan Alliance, Manuel Medina, manager of finished vehicle distribution at Seat, and Magnus Ödling, head of strategy for vehicle logistics at Volvo Cars.

Providing the crucial view from Brussels at the conference will be Christos Economou from the European Commission’s Land Transport unit.

Writing in a recent issue of Finished Vehicle Logistics, Costantino Baldissara (pictured, right), ECG president, noted the significance of the automotive sector and its vehicle logistics. 

“We can all agree that supporting Greece is important,” he said, “but the combined revenue of automotive manufacturing and vehicle logistics contributed much more to Europe’s economy than did Greece. We are actually, as an industry, on a par with the EU’s biggest member states in terms of our contribution.”

Specific issues to discuss at the conference include the continuing campaign to harmonise loaded trailer lengths, which vary significantly across the EU today. The ECG has also been lobbying for a relaxation of the impending sulphur emission regulations for European coastal waters, and for a consumer stimulus for new car purchases. 

The association was able to boast some recent success in its lobbying efforts this summer when the UK government relaxed cabotage restrictions for car carriers during peak registration periods, something that the ECG and several of its partners had been pushing for since 2010.

The one-day ECG conference has its business dinner on Thursday evening prior to the event, and features a popular partners/social programme which will run alongside the discussions on Friday, as well as including a Friday evening social dinner and activities on the Saturday after the event.

There are discounts on the delegate fee for ECG members and for multiple attendees from the same company. 

The conference was held in Prague last year and in Paris in 2011, and is organised on behalf of the ECG by Finished Vehicle Logistics magazine.