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ESC – European Shippers' Council

What is a Shipper?

Shippers represent the owner of goods being transported by any mode of transport, whether consignors (the traditional meaning of shipper) or consignee.

The definition of shipper has changed in line with the nature of international trade and transport: in today’s global economy shippers may contract third party logistics providers or freight forwarders to procure and manage their freight shipments; they will be responsible for arranging and managing that contract. (more…)

What does ESC do?

The Council represents the vast majority of goods distributed by sea, road, rail, inland waterways and air. ESC, based in Brussels, acts as the “eyes and ears” for its member organisations – the national shippers’ councils – in respect of EU legislative activity. Equally it functions as the mouth-piece for shippers in Brussels. It has the dual role of gathering and feeding back vital intelligence on current and future EU policy developments and directly lobbying for ESC positions vis-à-vis the European institutions. It does this in close co-operation with its members.

CORE Website Launched








CORE launches website to protect and secure global supply chain

The balance between effective control and supervision and facilitating legitimate trade by a number of innovations, needs to be improved. That is why today the CORE website is launched – where its partners have committed to work together to maximize the speed and reliability and minimize cost of fulfilling global trade transactions, make supply chains more transparent and resilient and at the same time bring safety and security to the highest level.

In border-crossing operations with third countries there is still quite a deal to be gained. Interventions by control agencies can cause disturbances and unexpected delays harm supply chain predictability. Moreover, additional compliance processes and procedures have raised the administrative burden for legitimate traders, thus neutralizing the positive impact of paperless declarations.


ESC 2013 Annual Report


The European Shippers’ Council announces the publication of its 2013 Annual Report, a 64-page publication documenting ESC’s evolution and the important role of the Shipping Industry in a continuously changing economic and industrial global scene. (more…)

European shippers: non-tariff trade barriers hinder economic growth


The elimination of non-tariff trade barriers will have enormous positive effects on the European economy. The European Shippers’ Council (ESC) therefore wants that to be one of the main topics of the new free trade agreement that is presently being negotiated between the European Union and the United States.


Brussels Update – Rail Transport July 2014

European Council adopts SHIFT²RAIL joint undertaking regulation


On 16th June the European Council adopted the regulation for setting up a public-private partnership  SHIFT²RAIL. The European Economic and Social Committee and the European Parliament already agreed with the proposal earlier this year. The joint undertaking will manage a research and innovation work programme to support the development of better rail services in Europe. The first operations probably will start from 2015.

SHIFT²RAIL’s goal is to double the capacity of the railway transport system, to reduce its lifecycle cost by 50% and to decrease unreliability and late arrivals by 50%.

The joint undertaking will be set up by the EU and by eight partners from the  rail industry (i.a.  Alstom, Ansaldo, Bombardier, Network Rail, Siemens and Thales). Other companies can become an associated member if selected through an open call for membership.

The EU’s funding will come from the Horizon 2020 programme, and a maximum of EUR 450 million will be available across the 6 year lifespan of the initiative from 2014 to 2020. The industry is expected to contribute at least EUR 470 million.

Shift2Rail’s mandate will end on 31 December 2024.

The ESC welcomes the SHIFT²RAIL initiative as it will contribute to more attractive rail transport for freight users.


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