Since February 2023, there are new rules applicable for road freight transport. The implementation of these guidelines aims to improve the social protection of drivers, reduce CO2 emissions, and increase road safety. The major impact of the EU Mobility Package will be on international hauliers, especially those who operate with light vehicles, and on the consequential surcharges.
With the enforcement of the Mobility Package new rules, all the countries in the EU and UK will have harmonised guidelines for cabotage activities and hauliers working internationally. This means that salaries, resting times and periods during which the drivers are allowed to be out of their residency country, will be the same across Europe. By applying such measurements, the international rules for truck and van drivers will be clearer, and cross-border freight forwarding should become safer and quicker.
One of the biggest impacts of the EU Mobility package will be on international hauliers, especially the ones operating light vehicles up to 3,5t. LGV (light goods vehicle) operators are now obliged to have an International Operators license in order to conduct international or cross-border transport of goods.
After the operator licencing changes imposed in the first phase of the Mobility Package implementation in 2020, new rules concerning road safety and driver social protection apply from February and March 2023.
Up until this year, most of the safety rules imposed on freight transport by road were applicable only to trucks and HGVs (heavy goods vehicles), leaving the rules for light vehicles vague and open to interpretation. But with the new Mobility Package, valid since February 2023, carrier vans and LGVs (Light goods vehicles) are subject to the same rules when performing cross-trade and international cabotage activities.
Truck and van drivers often spend long periods on international haulage activities; therefore, the EU Mobility Package intends to enforce that every 4 weeks, drivers are obliged to return home for a minimum of 45h. The implementation of this rule is to be put into practice by the companies/employers.
According to the new rules of the Mobility Package, rest periods can no longer be spent in the vehicles. Instead, employers should ensure that light and heavy vehicle drivers spend their rest periods in appropriate accommodations with adequate sanitary and sleeping facilities.
After finishing a cabotage operation in an EU Member State, hauliers should have a cool-off phase of at least 4 days on activities that comprise the same vehicle.
Every eight weeks, the vehicle (truck or van) has to return to the country of the company’s location, i.e. the country where the vehicle is registered.
The second generation of smart tachographs, with technical specifications set by the European Commission, intends to increase safety on the road. These tachographs will record, among other things, places of loading and unloading, border crossings and resting periods.
Along with the social and environmental benefits of the EU Mobility Package of 2023, come some not-so-positive consequences, especially for the final customer:
With the obligation of drivers to return home every 4 weeks, and the obligatory resting periods which until now did not apply to light vehicles, the logistics sector will now be facing an even greater lack of capacity and road freight drivers.
With each new measurement imposed by the EU Mobility Package, hauling companies will be obliged to document and report the implementation and compliance of all guidelines. Inspections will be conducted regularly with high fines for haulage companies that do not obey the new standards.
Hauling companies, especially those whose fleet comprises mainly light vehicles performing international road freight and cabotage activities, will face higher overheads with the enforcement of the EU Mobility Package. The employers are now forced to provide proper accommodation to drivers at their own expense, as well as perform fewer cabotage activities in one trip, and more frequent trips home both for the drivers and for the vehicles. All of this will increase the shipping prices for their clients with possible surcharges.
At Eurosender, we understand the importance of road safety, sustainable shipping activities and social rights for all employees, no matter the sector.
With that in mind, we are pleased to announce that all our partners comply with the new EU Mobility Package rules as we keep our commitment to continue offering excellent shipping services and competitive prices. Our carrier management logistics team has been working hard to make sure each and every carrier is compliant with the rules, and we will keep making sure that every haulier, HGV and LGV, follows the new guidelines.
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