Green shipping lane adoption “significantly improved”, accelerating transit of key supplies

Thu 9 Apr 2020
Posted by: Ana Pintor
Trade News

Adoption of ‘green’ or ‘priority’ lanes to accelerate the transit of key supplies across Europe has “significantly improved”, according to a senior industry figure.

European Commission guidelines issued last month asked member states to ensure movements of vital supplies through the continent were as unimpeded as possible.

The EC green lanes document called for states to adopt green lanes where trucks could transport key medical and food supplies without onerous checks.

Following publication of the EC guidelines, representatives from the freight industry voiced concern that European governments were not implementing green lanes consistently, thereby slowing down the transit of key goods.

‘Significant improvement’

However, John Lucy, manager for international transport & trade procedures at the Freight Transport Association, told today’s Daily Update (09 April) that the “situation this week is significantly improved with a more consistent approach to green lanes being adopted”.

He says this is already resulting in “far fewer border problems being reported.”

The EC guidance was given in response to tailbacks of road traffic caused by border restrictions brought in by states to stem the spread of the coronavirus.


There were reports of 80km tailbacks in the Brenner Pass between Italy and Austria, for instance.

The EC document said haulers of key goods “should not be asked to produce any document other than identification and driving licence and, if necessary, a standard template letter from the employer”.

It also advised border checks for road freight should take no longer than 15 minutes.

John Lucy explains:

“Checks and screening should be carried out without drivers having to leave their vehicles, and drivers themselves should undergo only minimal checks.

“Drivers of freight vehicles should not be asked to produce any document other than their identification and driving license and if necessary, a letter from the employer. The electronic submission/display of documents should be accepted.”

Long quarantine for drivers

Problems initially arose due to an “inconsistent approach across Europe”, according to the FTA, giving the example of Turkey which introduced border quarantine procedures of 14 days for arriving drivers.