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„Austria has blocked ⅔ of transit transport.” German studies of the extension of Tyrol bans.

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Earlier this year, the Tyrol authorities extended the sectoral truck ban. “The heavy goods vehicle traffic has been radically reduced in the region,” alarm Germany, Poland and Italy.

As of 1 January 2020, the Austrians further extended the sectoral ban on truck traffic on A12 by new groups of goods. Since the beginning of this year, other goods have been added to the existing 8 groups of goods that trucks over 7.5 t are not allowed to carry on the Intall motorway. What is important, the sectoral traffic ban has also covered trucks meeting the Euro 6 emission standard. The only exceptions are Euro 6 trucks equipped with 6D technology.

Last year the German BGL organisation heavily criticised Tyrol’s plans to tighten restrictions on the A12. This week, it published a report summarising the impact of the extension of the sectoral ban on the transport industry.

“Since the beginning of this year Austria has blocked Brenner for transit transport of 2/3 of all goods and 83.4% of all German trucks,” the document reads.

Based on the information received by BGL from medium-sized transport companies that have been affected by the tightening of the sectoral driving ban, the organisation has prepared the following analysis.

Economic impact:

a drop in turnover of about 40% in the transport companies affected by the extension of the ban;

– transport time two times longer and thus double staff costs. A journey from Germany to Italy used to take about 5 hours by truck, now it takes 4-5 hours more because of the need to use RoLa transport (an intermodal transport mode consisting of transporting trucks or truck tractors with semi-trailers and trailers by means of special low-loader wagons);

– in addition to the increase in staff costs, transport costs also increased by 30% due to the use of RoLa transport. The costs of fuel and tolls were compared with the RoLa ticket price;

– companies who mainly carry out transport between Germany and Italy cannot use more than half of their fleet, despite having Euro 6 vehicles, since most of them are not exempt (i.e. first registration after 1 September 2018). These vehicles are currently standing in parking lots, and as such, they are dead capital.

Impact on drivers:

– drivers’ dissatisfaction with the much longer waiting times and the additional breaks in driving time that have become necessary. Due to the additional Tyrol driving ban on Saturdays, drivers often do not return home for weekends; 

– according to the information obtained by BGL from the drivers, they do not want to use RoLa and sometimes refuse to carry out such transports. The reason is the condition of trains which are usually dirty. For employers, this may mean losing their employees, BGL states.

Impact on customer relationships/logistical processes:

German companies can no longer operate reliably in Italy.

– RoLa is unreliable and its capacity is generally insufficient. Since 1 January, the demand for RoLa has increased significantly and it is unable to offer sufficient capacity on the dates required by customers. In addition, block checks on the way to the RoLa terminal in Wörgl complicate the use of this transport means;

– it is necessary to book the train (RoLa and UKV) several days in advance, which makes it difficult to process short-term orders or account for changes at the customer’s request;

– an increase in the number of empty runs if no return loads are found after authorised transport through the Brenner Pass (e.g. transport of food to Italy) – the extension of the ban significantly limited the possibilities;

– The customer does NOT bear additional costs! Therefore, detours on other roads (e.g. Tauern Highway) are out of the question. 

Impact on the competition:

Transport companies in Tyrol are ready to fill the gap and take up transport without increasing costs, as they are actually evading the ban thanks to exceptions for source and destination traffic.

TLP’s appeal regarding the sectoral ban

In the opinion of the Employers’ Association Transport i Logistyka Polska (TLP), the Tyrol authorities restrict too radically the passage of heavy goods vehicles and passenger vehicles through Europe’s largest north-south transport corridor. That is why TLP has asked the Polish Minister of Infrastructure and the EU Commissioner for Transport to intervene.

Italian party calls on the government to act

Forza Italia, a right-wing conservative party, is putting pressure on the government to take steps against the Tyrol driving ban. According to the party, the extension of the sectoral ban seriously harms road freight transport and the Italian economy.

The new restrictions imposed on truck traffic at Brenner Pass are unacceptable,” Forza Italia Roberto Novelli wrote on Monday. “The Italian government should put pressure on Vienna and Brussels because there is a clear violation of the principle of free movement of goods for protectionist reasons under the pretext of environmental protection,” added Novelli.

He stressed that the Tyrol driving bans would cost the Italian economy €370 million a year and threaten exports worth €30 billion.

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