While the Mobility Package leads to divisions within the European Union, Eastern and Western entrepreneurs from the Logistics industry and related industries remain in agreement – prices for transport services will go up.
Hot discussions related to the Mobility Package and its social aspects in particular (including provisions regarding the posting of workers), do not cease in the European Union.
During the recent vote of the European Parliament Committee on Transport and Tourism (TRAN), MEPs advocated the exclusion of transit and international transport from the rules of posting of workers. What the Central and East European countries considered a success and an important step towards a compromise was criticized by the West European countries and the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF).
How do entrepreneurs perceive this issue and what effects do they expect from the change in regulations? The answer to this question is provided by the report “Posting of Workers in Transport – Opinions and Concerns of European Entrepreneurs” prepared and published by Trans.INFO.
The effects of the directive’s introduction through the eyes of entrepreneurs.
The report presents the opinions of more than 1,700 European entrepreneurs – both those directly related to the Logistics sector, as well as producers and trading companies, whose efficient functioning is largely dependent on the Logistics sector.
The surveyed entrepreneurs, due to their country of origin, were also divided into two groups:
– West (Germany, Austria, France, Spain, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands),
– East (Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Lithuania, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria).
As it results from the conducted research, due to changes in the regulations, logistics companies and cooperating companies (shippers) expect the increase of costs related to running a business, and thus – price increase of transport services.
Over half of the surveyed carriers, forwarders and logisticians believe that prices will increase. In the case of shippers, the percentage of respondents who are of the opinion that the prices of transport services will go up is even higher and exceeds 80%.
Opinions are slightly more divided when it comes to specific forecasts. In general, Eastern entrepreneurs expect increases of 10-20% (over 1/3 of respondents), while Western entrepreneurs expect increases of around 10%.
Also a slightly larger percentage of entrepreneurs from the “new EU” expects changes in regulations to affect their company directly. As many as 82% of the eastern companies from the transport sector and 87% of eastern shippers are of the opinion that the changes coming from the directive will affect the running of business. In the case of western companies, this percentage is 73% and 70%, respectively.
And it probably will not be a positive impact. According to the research, the vast majority of Eastern companies remain very skeptical about the benefits of the posting of workers directive. Only 17% of Eastern and 31% of Western entrepreneurs from the logistics sector expect the benefits. Shippers are even more skeptical. Only 6% of them believe that the new directive will entail benefits for their companies.
Western companies are satisfied with cooperation
The conducted research also provides interesting information related to the assessment of cooperation with eastern carriers by Western shippers. Surveyed entrepreneurs from Western countries often use the services of Eastern carriers and in most cases are satisfied with these services.
Several factors contribute to cooperation with eastern carriers. In the case of Western forwarders, these are primarily:
– a modern fleet (67%),
– quality of services (61%),
– lower prices (51%).
In the case of shippers (producers and trading companies), the following are of decisive importance:
– quality of services (70%),
– lower prices (50%),
– modern fleet (33%).
As the authors of the report emphasize, these results contradict the common opinion that carriers from the countries of Central and Eastern Europe compete with Western guides only thanks to low prices achieved by means of social dumping. Transport companies from the “new EU” countries, including Poland, have much more to offer – above all high quality services, a modern transport fleet and great flexibility in cooperation.
The full version of the report can be found on the Trans.INFO website.