Arguments and Positions

Transport Infrastructure

Arguments and Positions

The transport infrastructure is an important factor of the economy: Functioning transport routes strengthen the competitiveness of industry. They enable the production of goods in the private sector, contribute to the development of regions and states, and they are an important aspect in entrepreneurial decision-making on locations.

The very substance of Germany's transport infrastructure is in danger
The central geographic position in Europe is an essential location advantage for the industry land Germany. This advantage can be utilised only with an intact transport infrastructure.

But in many respects, Germany is living on its substance; Roads are dilapidated, bridges are closed, locks are prone to disruptions, and railway lines are overburdened. Meanwhile, a much higher transport budget has brought about the conditions for remedying the described situation. The Federal Transport Infrastructure Plan (BVWP) emphasises weak points and identifies the real needs. Action should be taken now.

The chemical industry needs safe and reliable transport routes
The chemical industry ranks among the most transport-intensive sectors in Germany and attaches great importance to safe transports. A good transport infrastructure is indispensable for this. In the long term, the chemical industry wants to shift even more transports to rail and inland waterways. Here, the necessary prerequisites need to be created. The chemical industry wants to provide an orientation aid for politicians, i.e. which transport projects should be launched as soon as possible from the industry's viewpoint. Für this purpose, the VCI has highlighted for the entire territory of the Federal Republic of Germany which measures should be tackled most urgently, where and for what modes of transport. The chemical industry has contributed some 60 priority proposals to the political discussion – for improving transport routes.


  • Maintain and renew the performance of the transport infrastructure
    The ability to perform of Germany's transport infrastructure needs to be maintained and renewed. The expansion of all modes of transport should be driven forward in the long term – depending on the need for rehabilitation, the volumes of traffic and the economic potential.
  • Develop an overall transport policy concept
    All modes of transport should have equal standing in expansion, and they should be interlinked intelligently. This presupposes an overall transport policy concept which gives more consideration to the interactions between individual measures than this is the case so far (example: the impact on inland waterway transportation of cutting by half the user fees for railway lines).
  • Speed up construction measures
    Faster planning, approval and implementation of construction measures could increase their efficiency. A centrally organised agency should early involve the citizens in the planning processes, in order to reduce delays and the resulting extra financial burdens. The federal society for long distance roads (Bundesfernstraßengesellschaft) should be built up fast, and a centre of competence for planning should be established inside this society. In this way, mainly supraregional infrastructure projects could be advanced rapidly and with less bureaucracy. A broad initiative is needed to recruit qualified staff. A controlling unit should be set up at federal level to monitor the implementation of the BVWP.
  • Drive forward faster the interlinking of the modes of transport
    For a more intensive use of rail and inland waterways by the chemical industry in the future, additional intermodal nodal points are needed to better interlink the various modes of transport with each other. Furthermore, bottlenecks can be remedied by improving the transport connections between seaports and their hinterland and by newly creating or expanding traffic lanes on motorways and rail corridors for freight. Efficiency could be increased by stepping up digitalisation and automation.
  • View contributions to climate protection in a realistic light
    The transport of goods can contribute to climate protection - while it should be ensured that transport policy measures make sense and are economically viable.

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Andrea Heid