28. June 2023

Rise in toll rates not conductive  

The Federal Cabinet has approved new toll rates. Although the Bundestag and Bundesrat still have to agree, this is a just a formality. From December 2023, less than a year after the last toll increase, an additional CO2 tax of two hundred euros per tonne will be levied, which de facto amounts to double of the current toll rates. According to current plans, the additional income will not flow into the roads, but into the expansion of the railways. 

Zero-emission vehicles will be exempt from the toll increase. The aim is to promote changing to alternative routes, according to government circles. 

Holger Dechant, member of the Gruber Logistics Board / Managing Director of Universal Transport, sees this as a contradiction in terms: “In general, we support all efforts to promote sustainability in transport and to implement environmentally friendly solutions in our company. However, zero-emission vehicles, which will be exempt from the CO2 component, are just as rare in our business segment as the corresponding nationwide fuelling and charging infrastructure. This leaves us with no choice but to accept the additional fees. This does not promote environmental friendliness on the road.” 

According to current knowledge from information from various industry associations and the BMDV (Federal Ministry for Digital Affairs and Transport), the industry is currently assuming a toll-related freight price increase of at least 12%. 

 “This is no longer financially feasible for transport companies from their own resources. The additional charges have to be passed on to the shippers and to the end consumers eventually,” says Dechant. 

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