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IRU sees road freight falling by a fifth

[ March 13, 2020   //   ]

Global road transport activity could fall by up to 20% in 2020 as a result of the corona virus, says the International Road Transport Union (IRU). This could lead to a global loss in operator revenues of $2 trillion, it adds.

Nearly 6% of all people in employment worldwide work in road transport – largely in small and medium sized firms that, due to their size, cannot easily cope with such external shocks.

IRU says that the industry is doing its best to cope in a difficult situation, with rules and restrictions changing rapidly and often in a haphazard or uncoordinated way.

To keep road transport functioning, IRU is calling on governments and authorities, banks and financial institutions, to take temporary actions to help ease the burden of the crisis on operators.

Companies should implement higher driver health and safety standards for loading and unloading goods (particularly in quarantine areas) and concerning the carriage of documents to demonstrate compliance with health rules. They must also ensure traceability in recording and maintaining driver and worker movements.

Governments should also ease driving and resting time rulesfor critical goods such as food and medical supplies and enable drivers to leave affected regions or quarantine zones as quickly as possible to return home. They must also lift delivery restrictions to ensure delivery can take place at safer times, in the night for example.

Financial institutions should ease loan and mortgage repayment terms especially for large vehicle loans, and VAT and tax payment deadlines.

Authorities should remove or reduce tolls and road user charges for trucks and set up support programmes for temporarily unemployed road transport workers.

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