The head of France’s freight transport and logistics body, Transport and Logistics France (TLF), has recommend Western European transport companies to focus on niche areas and specialist delivery services, to combat increased competition from Eastern companies.
In a recent interview with Lloyds Loading List Yves Fargues says that wage discrepancies between the two markets are giving Eastern European companies a competitive advantage, despite the poor-quality service experiences customers often suffer. Fargues suggests focusing on areas such as transporting hazardous goods or specialist services, where expertise and high levels of skill are required is a good move.
The road fright research and data agency Comité National Routier (CNR) recently conducted an extensive study to examine and compare employment and pay conditions of international lorry drivers across 15 countries in Europe (a full copy of the report can be downloaded here). Fargues said “This is the most comprehensive study there has been on the cost of employing lorry drivers in Europe, with Romania and Bulgaria included for the first time.”
The report revealed that there are huge wage disparities that give Eastern European companies a very large competitive advantage over organisations in Western Europe.
One of the main findings from the study was that it cost several times the amount to employ a driver in Western countries compared to Eastern regions. Wages are lowest in Bulgaria and Romania, the two newest countries that were analysed. Salaries paid to drivers in the lower countries are considered good by their national standard and therefore there is no shortage of people applying for open positions.
Another area where there is a big variance is in social contributions paid by companies.
Eastern companies are paying far less in social contributions in comparison to their western counterparts. Farage feels that there is not much apatite from the EU to try and tackle the problem and make the playing field a bit more even. When France and Germany tried to impose their own minimum wage structure on other nations it did not go down well at the EU Headquarters in Brussels. Also with more uncertainty surrounding the EU post Brexit, now may be deemed to be a bad time to try and approach the issue.
However with an increased demand for specialist delivery services, companies with these skills are in a position to combat pressure from lost cost markets by focusing on the increased demand.
One of the most regulated areas for lorry driver’s is working hours and driving time but also one of the hardest areas to accurately measure.
There’s extensive laws in place that all HGV’s must have a tachograph which records the driving time and break time of a driver and vehicle. The laws have been put in place to increase road safety but there are big differences from region to region as to how they are interpreted and enforced.
Having the confidence that your goods will be delivered safely is obviously key for businesses. The establishment of an EU Road Transport Agency to help manage and regulate the road haulage industry might be necessary. Creating an official EU Lorry Driver Status for implementing and recognising quality standards would do a lot to improve conditions – particularly around grey areas such as driving time and break periods.
Cargocare is fully compliant with all regulations around driving time. Our driver’s safety, other road user’s safety and the safe delivery of cargo being transported is central to all our activities and our record in this respect is exemplary.
Delivery & Installation Services
When selecting a delivery services company to work with it’s important to find one who is professional, has local experience and contacts and the expertise to handle your goods or materials. This is especially important when moving specialist products. Cargocare has extensive experience and a highly-trained team who are experts in equipment delivery and installations across the Ireland and the UK.
We have won several office equipment delivery contracts with global manufacturers, distributors, and resellers. Our clients are confident that every care will be given on deliveries during transportation and installation.
What sets Cargocare apart from its competitors is that we can take care of all aspects of the move and install. Our office equipment installation service team is able to unpack and set up all of the equipment, complete green light testing and take away any unwanted packaging for recycling.
Lots of companies see the benefits of working with us – we have been working with Ricoh Ireland for 15 years and have an excellent relationship with them. Our work with them includes delivery, install and green light testing to make sure everything working order. By providing our clients with a professional, timely and complete service they are able to keep costs under control and know everything will be handled properly.
For more information about our specialist delivery services and installation services please contact a member of our team. We have over 30 years’ industry experience and work with companies throughout the Europe.