Efficient Trucking Is a Growth Enabler: New IRU-World Bank Guide to Reform

February 9, 2017

WASHINGTON/GENEVA, February 9, 2017— The World Bank and the International Road and Transport Union (IRU) have jointly released a new guide on Road Freight Transport Services Reform that shows how efficient trucking facilitates trade, reduces poverty and generates prosperity. Key conclusions highlight the importance of the driver, condition of vehicles, technical inspections and business-enabling regulation.

The successful collaboration between the World Bank Group and IRU has resulted in the first ever guide to improve quality and competition, based on practical examples of regulatory reform in other countries. It is aimed at governments and policy-makers in emerging and developing economies – where mobility of cargo is almost entirely dependent on the road transport sector.

Typical performance gaps include high costs, reduced profitability, lack of road safety, environmental concerns, bureaucracy and corruption. Regulated carriers are often required to compete against informal operators outside of regulatory frameworks. Changing this scenario to establish a level playing field improves transparency, safety and sustainability.

As IRU Secretary General Umberto de Pretto noted, “the goal is to foster transparent regulatory environments in which start-up and established carriers can both grow and professionalise their operations, improving safety, sustainability, resilience and competition.”

Offering a complete framework – from an evaluation of the existing systems through to implementation of change – the Guide demonstrates how to analyse data to identify areas of focus and then outlines how to structure a detailed action plan.

“The billions invested in road infrastructure will only yield their full potential for economic growth and job creation if logistics services are operating efficiently along these roads. This guide provides a set of principles to help policymakers and practitioners assess the different challenges in road transport, and select a reform path most suited to a country’s stage of economic development and its institutional capacity,” explained José Luis Irigoyen, Senior Director for Transport and ICT at the World Bank.

Professional training is highlighted in view of key findings, which show employment in road transport services reaching up to 5% of the total and a recent study in East Africa, which found that there were 1.2 jobs for each truck on the road. Establishing qualifications frameworks and delivering internationally recognised training promotes eco-driving techniques and leads to fewer crashes and fines, lower fuel consumption and less vehicle maintenance.

In parallel, fleet renewal incentives and vehicle inspections can radically change performance. Since the mid-1970s, average fuel consumption has decreased by 40% from 50 litres/100km to 30 litres/100km in 2008. Formalised operations, modernised freight tracking and communications systems also help to streamline the industry.

An example of deregulation of the industry in Mexico in 1989 showed a decline in the cost of commodity distribution by 25%. The case study reinforces the need for the creation of a business-enabling environment for the development of a safe, reliable but competitive road transport industry.


About the World Bank Group

The World Bank Group plays a key role in the global effort to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. Working closely with its 189 member countries, the World Bank Group provides financing, advice and other solutions that enable countries to address the most urgent challenges of development.

About IRU
IRU is the global industry association for road transport, driving the sustainable mobility of people and goods across the planet. Founded in 1948 to help rebuild trade across a war-torn Europe, IRU is today an independent international organisation active in more than 100 countries on every continent.

IRU Academy
The IRU Academy is the world’s leading global professional road transport training organisation. With a network of 65 Associate Training Institutes in more than 46 countries, the Academy trains thousands of drivers and transport operators every year. The IRU Academy also develops campaign initiatives to raise awareness on certain issues, and increases global standards in professional road transport training to keep our roads safer.

Media Contacts
In Washington for the World Bank
Xavier Muller
Tel : +1 (202) 458-5747
In Geneva for IRU
Karen Mazzoli
Tel : +41 22 918 27 96