Truck industry and entry restriction: no conveyor belt has to stand still
Because truck traffic to Germany is running, there are no supply bottlenecks. Nevertheless, the logistics industry is not satisfied with the border controls.
Truck drivers are only allowed to enter Germany with a negative Coronatest Photo: Barbara Gindl/apa
A few days after the introduction of entry restrictions for travelers from the Czech Republic and parts of Austria, the situation at the borders has calmed down. The responsible federal police directorates reported an easing of the situation on Wednesday. Bottlenecks for goods are therefore not to be expected. But the logistics industry is by no means satisfied.
Because the Czech Republic and large parts of Tyrol have been classified by the federal government as virus mutation areas, only travelers with a German passport, place of residence or a residence permit for the Federal Republic have been allowed to enter from there since Sunday. Exceptions apply to employees in the transport industry. They must declare their entry – even if they are only in transit through the virus mutation areas – and present a certified coronanegative test that must not be older than 48 hours. Initially, there were traffic jams, but they have largely dissipated, according to federal police.
"There have not been the dramatic effects we feared," said Maximilian Pretzel, spokesman for the German Freight Forwarding and Logistics Association (DSLV). Last year, there were mega traffic jams after border closures between Poland and Germany. That hasn’t happened now.
One reason: truck drivers:inside make detours of up to 250 kilometers to avoid having to pass through the virus mutation areas, Pretzel says. The logistics association is calling for an EU regulation to be applied that was introduced after the experience with the mega traffic jams last year. It provides that transit is not subject to the restrictions.
Unnecessary risk due to coronatests
Because of the cost of the tests and the lost time, the industry calculates that additional costs of 100 to 300 euros will be incurred per trip. The association fears that mandatory testing may even put drivers:inside at risk. "They are relatively isolated in the cabs, even when loading and unloading," Pretzel says. But with mandatory testing, drivers:inside would now encounter each other in the test centers. That, he says, is an unnecessary risk.
Earlier in the week, the Automobile Industry Association had sounded the alarm, warning that assembly lines in the auto industry would soon grind to a halt because of border controls. But fears that deliveries would not reach factories in time have not been confirmed. "The situation remains tense, but is currently under control," said VDA President Hildegard Muller on Wednesday. Transport logistics and manufacturers had reacted flexibly and quickly to the delays, she said. A break in the supply chain and a production stop could therefore be avoided so far, she said.