The effects of the next phase of the EU mobility package on container transport

In our previous blog we wrote about the ever increasing price of container transport. In this update we at Handico Trucking would like to take a closer look at one of those aspects; namely the next phase of the EU mobility package. 

Driving- and rest times

The first stage was implemented in August of last year already. A driver is now allowed to take two short weekend rests abroad in their truck. However, the week afterwards this needs to be compensated and added to the normal 45-hour rest.   Also, drivers need to be offered the chance to go to their home country every month. Most drivers though, at the moment opt-out of and decide to stay. 

Next changes in early February

From 2 February 2022 the next phase of the mobility package will take effect.  All drivers must have registered every border crossing at their first possible stop. Since all of our drivers have digital tachographs, which register those crossing automatically, we expect this to have a minimal effect on their trips.  Additionally, the police will be allowed to check trucks on the road whether they adhere to the 60-hour work week. As we do not yet know how often this will actually happen we cannot say how this will impact our planning.

Detachment of drivers

Another part of the mobility package is the introduction of a so called 'lex specialis' for the detachment of drivers, meaning laws that are only applicable to the transport sector. This will replace the numerous national laws currently in place, such as the German 'Mindestlohngesetz' and French 'Macron law' For cabotage trips drivers are considered to be seconded in the country of cabotage, this means they have to be paid according to the local labour laws in the country of cabotage. Only bilateral and transit trips are excluded from this requirement.  These detachments need to be declared through unified forms. As of 21 February there will also be a cooling off period of four days after the three allowed cabotage trips.  For us as a container transport company these changes will have less effect. As most of our work is  considered combined transport. Under combined transport member states are allowed to make their own rules.

Return of trucks

Trucking companies will need to have a physical building in the EU member state they are registered in, where they keep all documents related to their main activities. More importantly though, companies are required to have their trucks return home every 8 weeks. This could potentially have great impact on the companies we work with. At the moment this requirement is still being contested by countries such as Romania and Bulgaria as they feel it would have a negative impact on them. However, we have discussed this with our partner companies and they have back-up plans to move their companies to Germany, should that be necessary. This would mean their trucks will be in their registered home countries most days of the week.

Should there be any more updates on the mobility package we will of course share these with you. In case you still have questions about how we deal with these upcoming changes, please always feel free to contact us! 

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