German Transport & Logistics Association pro e.V. (BLV) is calling for immediate relief measures through a temporary reduction in fuel taxes and the capping of prices. "First came the Corona pandemic, with so many restrictions and effects, on commercial road haulage as well. There were nationwide order declines, dumping prices on the spot market, combined with increases in all costs such as energy, insurance, investment, maintenance," the BLV wrote in an open letter.
"While in October 2020 diesel cost 0.90€/Lt, entrepreneurs currently have to pay over 1.50€/Lt. An increase of more than 50%, which can only be passed on to the customer in the rarest of cases. German hauliers are under enormous pressure, forced to reduce their fleets to the point that many have already had to file for bankruptcy," it continues.
Supply chain collapse at Christmas?
"We are on the verge of English conditions; in view of the forecasts and reports from England about empty gas stations and shelves, there is already unrest among the population in Germany and the first panic buying has been witnessed. The supply chains will collapse at the latest around Christmas 2021, so some gifts will not end up under the Christmas tree. says BLV chairman of the board Konstantin Popov.
The government must finally intervene, relieving transport entrepreneurs by a temporary lowering of the fuel taxes, as well as easing of prices, before thousands of jobs are lost. "We must and cannot always give over our market to Eastern European transport entrepreneurs. If in 2011 the market share of non-resident trucks in Germany was at 23 percent, this share was at 42.4 percent in 2017. That is an increase of almost 100 percent. At the same time, drivers are sometimes deployed under inhumane conditions and are away from home for several months at a time. Germany is making itself too dependent on the large operators from the East. In 10 years, there will be no more small and medium-sized businesses," adds BLV Chairman Sigo Schmeiduch.
According to BLV, the competitive advantage of Eastern European transport companies is directly evident in the fuel prices of their countries; many trucks from these carriers head home for the weekend, just to fill up.
"Competition is also comparable in terms of equipment. The difference over which the current displacement is taking place is the labor wage of the drivers; to this must now be added consumption costs for diesel, AdBlue, tolls, etc., as well as the acquisition costs for the truck and equipment, which have also increased, since it is precisely these large fleets that receive extensive discounts. The consequence of this
is that there is no fair competition - a displacement will take place." says Thomas Hansche, from the BLV executive committee.
Immediate assistance and conversion promoted
The demand for immediate relief for domestic freight forwarders through a temporary reduction in fuel taxes and capping of prices was already conveyed to politicians by the German Transport & Logistics Association pro e.V. on October 22, 2021. "We are now pushing for immediate aid and implementation, before the industry comes to a standstill. We have no choice but to make it clear to politicians how serious the situation is by shutting down neuralgic traffic points in Germany, for example. Only when supply chains are disrupted, will it become clear how important this sector is."