New laws increase operating costs

What companies now have to pay attention to

Each new year beings with it numerous new laws and regulations which result in restrictions on many transport routes. Further legislative changes have already been planned. We have an overview of what has happened. Our, admittedly subjective, top 5 developments can be found here:


I. Tyrol is one of the bottlenecks in European overland transport. Many haulage companies are therefore feeling the pinch caused by the tightening of the sector-based driving ban there for older trucks. Following waste, excavated material and logs, from 1 January 2020, paper, cardboard, liquid petroleum products, cement, limestone, burnt gypsum, piping, hollow profiles and grains will also no longer be allowed to be transported in medium or heavy-duty trucks over 7.5 tonnes. There are initial protests about this, but the restrictions are still in force. They are currently resulting in double the transport time and costs during transit across that particular Alpine region.


II. Truck drivers are also experiencing stringent restrictions to the south of Tyrol – in Italy. This year, due to public holidays and holiday periods, transport companies can expect a sequential driving ban for almost every month. Especially during the Easter celebrations, very little is possible for truck traffic.

Transport companies are therefore well advised to stay informed at all times – or to book the applicable support services.


III. In Austria, the toll charges on motorways and main roads have increased on average by 2.1 percent for trucks over 3.5 tonnes; in parts of Belgium, this is even by 2.5 percent. The Czech Republic has also expanded its network of roads that are subject to tolls by almost 900 kilometres. In Bulgaria, a route-based, electronic toll system is to be introduced this spring.

Alongside a lot of additional bureaucracy, this also risks higher operating costs – in part due to the more expensive Eurovignettes for Euro 5 vehicles. Only with these can trucks in this emission category be driven on motorways in Denmark, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Sweden. As ignorance does not protect you against penalties, transport companies should gather all the necessary information before starting a trip. Because violating the law can quickly become expensive!


  • Speak to experts about the respective changes to legislation.
  • Use digital solutions to minimise the time and effort involved.

Accelerating progress: priority for laws

The maintenance and upgrading of the road infrastructure remains a sensitive subject for many companies in the transportation industry. This applies not least to the time it is taking to implement such measures.


IV. The German government is therefore planning to raise some projects to legislative level. This is supposed to speed up decisions. The aim of all of this is to get the sluggish traffic flow moving again – not least on the chronically congested roads.

At the same time, due to a change in modal split, new orders beckon for the last mile from inland ports or freight yards. Haulage companies should keep that in mind for the future.

Remember: note support measures

The planned budgetary expenditure in Germany for 2020 will reach a new high. In addition to climate protection, there will be particular investment in the transport sector.


V. We have noted some of this financial aid for you:

  • Support programmes to further develop e-mobility.
  • Subsidy for the retrofitting of hardware for delivery vehicles.
  • Support for setting up charging infrastructure for e-vehicles.

For many companies, the “De-Minimis” programme may be worthwhile. Here the state grants the transport company subsidies for vehicle-related, person-related and efficiency-boosting measures amongst other things. This includes the purchase of telematics systems or software for the illustration, evaluation, management, archiving of data from the digital tachograph, which we reported on here recently. Companies that are interested can apply to the German Federal Office for Goods Transport up to 30 September this year for the support period 2020.


  • Check which subsidies you are entitled to.
  • Consult experts so you can benefit from the support.

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