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The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, a €22.5 million Dutch scheme to encourage freight transport to shift from road to inland waterways and rail. Under the scheme, which will run until the end of January 2026, the aid will take the form of non-refundable grants to shippers and logistics operators to reward them for the reduction in external costs (such as pollution, noise, congestion and accidents) achieved by using inland waterways and rail instead of road transport.

The Commission assessed the measure under EU State aid rules and found that the measure is necessary and proportionate to promote the use of inland waterways and rail transport, and will have an ‘incentive effect’ as the beneficiaries would not carry out the shift to the same extent in the absence of the public support. On this basis, the Commission concluded that the measure is compatible with EU State aid rules.

  • The total Modal Shift budget for the period 2023-2025 is 22.5 million euros. There is an amount of 5 million euros available annually for the shift from road to water, and 2.5 million euros for the shift from road to rail.
  • The grant can be obtained to facilitate the consolidation and permanent shifting of existing container and bulk transport from road to water or road to rail.
  • The grant is intended to offset extra transport costs (such as for additional container transshipment), for the following amounts:
    • From road to water: 20 euros per permanently shifted container in the eastern, south-eastern and southern corridors.
    • From road to rail: 20 euros per permanently shifted container on Dutch territory.

Are you a shipper of freight forwarder and want to shift your goods from road to rail? Find more information via Rail Cargo Information Netherlands. 

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