How the EU Mobility Package will affect your business

In 2021, the European Commission adopted a Mobility Package (MP) governing road deliveries in EU countries. It’s designed to safeguard the working rights of truck drivers in Europe by imposing work, rest and cabotage regimes.

The first part of the MP came into effect on 20th August 2020. Drivers are required to return to their employers’ country of legal registration and take at least one week off every four weeks. Drivers are no longer allowed to spend their rest week in their vehicle cabin. If the driver cannot go home during his week off, his employer is obliged to pay for alternative temporary accommodation.

From February 2022 the following changes to the MP will be introduced.

  • A driver performing a one-way international delivery must register as a worker on a business trip. If the market wages in the destination country are higher than those in the drivers home country, the drivers wages must be adjusted. Reimbursement of travel costs and expenditures cannot be counted towards this.
  • Drivers making cabotage deliveries in one country for an employer registered in another country must also register as workers on business trips. A maximum of three such transports can be performed within a seven-day period after which the truck cannot re-enter the country for four days.
  • A vehicle owned by an EU company used for international transport must be returned to the country of its registered owner within a maximum of eight weeks of its departure from that country.

In summary, the regulations are designed to offer higher driver welfare and a more level playing field. We should see a return of more “local” hauliers, Germans running into and out of Germany for example rather than for example Polish drivers running through.

This will mean however increased transport costs. There is already a severe driver shortage across Europe. Vehicles must return to their bases and drivers may not be available to take them back out on the road during a rest week. More trucks will be needed to cover the same amount of work. There will be more backroom staff required for compliance. Again, more costs.

We will see larger Eastern European transport companies likely set up bases in Belgium for example whilst small and medium sized Eastern European hauliers will refocus on domestic markets. We are likely to see capacity shortages in Western Europe and excess capacity in Eastern Europe or capacity but at a higher cost.

Adding in rising fuel costs across Europe, we have seen projected cost increases of 15-20% for 2022. Finishing on a positive note, the Mobility Package should make the industry more attractive for drivers and we are sure we’ll see long term benefits.

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