ESTA has been looking at the lessons Europe can learn from the experiences of abnormal load and heavy transport organisations in the USA.
Last month, ESTA Director Ton Klijn and Section Transprt President André Friderici spoke at the annual Specialized Transportation Symposium run by the Specialized Carriers & Rigging Association in Houston.
The invitation from the SC&RA came following informal conversations between the two organisations about the SC&RA’s Uniform Permit Transport initiative which aims to harmonize weight allowances and permitting systems across all US states – something that ESTA is attempting to do in Europe.
Ton Klijn said: “From an ESTA perspective, we have been very impressed by the way that the SC&RA has built relationships with transport authorities right across the USA and we are sure there are lessons that we can take from that success.
“Globally, heavy transport companies are facing similar problems with local regulations and bureaucracy, and I am sure we can learn from each other about how best to overcome the obstacles we face.”
The value of international cooperation was a point also stressed by Steven Todd, SC&RA Vice President.
“This year’s event, I am pleased to say, was a great success, with almost 600 attendees and over 70 government officials of different sorts – and I believe that the international theme was a significant reason for that success.
“From this meeting in Houston it was clear that there are things the different participants can learn from each other. For example, here in the US we have been doing a lot of work – and with some success – on automating and harmonizing systems for single permit trip authorizations, and common tractor/trailer configerations. It may be that we can help ESTA with our experience of this work to date.
“On the other hand, we were very interested to hear about ESTA’s work on producing a best practice guide for the safe transport and erection of onshore wind turbines. I am sure that this work will be of great interest to us.”
Whether such increased cooperation will lead to the creation for the transport sector – an equivalent of the International Crane Stakeholders Assembly – is not clear at present, as many on both sides of the Atlantic are wary of creating additional work and bureaucracy.
But at the very least it seems that increased informal ties could benefit the industry at large.