Nordic freight transport threatened by low-cost competition


Nordic freight transport and express transport firms and organisations have called on their governments to introduce a temporary six month opt-out of the EU’s cabotage rules due to the industry threat by low-cost competition demands change to EU rules.

According to the industry, the unified approach is being taken to protect transport sectors in Denmark, Sweden and Norway against perceived unfair competition from lower cost base Economy European Freight transport companies from the Baltic States and Eastern Europe.

Nordic freight transport industry chiefs claim that such love cost companies are pricing Nordic truckers out of the market.

National freight transport organisations will present a formal request to their governments to lobby for changes to the EU’s cabotage rules. In particular, this will focus on regulations governing the corss-border movements of trucks from the Baltics and Eastern Europe into Scandinavia.

A number of Freight Transport organisations, headed by Denmark’s DTL, claim the lack of controls in current EU rules threatens the existence of the road transport industry across Scandinavia.

The CEO of DTL, Erik Østergaard, said,

“We need to have a period of reflection which allows the creation of new rules and controls that ensure fair competition. Otherwise we risk seeing the entire Danish and Nordic transport industry disappear.

“Romanian or Bulgarian wages are 10% of Danes or Swedes. The sector has lost over 7,500 jobs in the past five years, and it’s not because of the present crisis. There is as much traffic today as there was before the crisis.”

Recent research for the petition from Nordic freight transport organisations, estimates that just one in every five trucks engaged in cross-border transport has Nordic number plates. This compares alarmingly with four in five trucks in 1982.

Freight Transport groups want Nordic governments to back a change whereby vehicles registered in the Baltic States or Eastern Europe would be prohibited from making more than one delivery or collection a week in Scandinavia.

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