The European Commission adopted on 14 May 2013 a Communication on the Marco Polo programme (2003 – 2013) which helps companies introduce transport services that shift freight off the road and on to more environmentally friendly modes such as short-sea shipping, rail and inland waterways.

From 2003 to 2012, 172 grants have been awarded providing financial aid to over 650 companies.

The already completed Marco Polo I programme generated around EUR 434 million in environmental benefits, removing 21.9 billion tonne-kilometres of freight off European roads.

Further significant modal shift and related benefits are expected for the on-going Marco Polo II programme.

The Communication also presents the Commission’s intentions with regard to the next steps beyond the current multiannual financial framework.

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