Monday, July 4

Tolls will inflate the price of freight transport

Madrid

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The introduction of tolls has become a mess that is difficult to solve for the Government. ANDl Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda It has promised the carriers that they will be spared the financial blow that will be the ‘pay per use’ that it prepares for the Spanish highways and highways. And in doing so, they have passed the hot potato to the retail sector.

The agreement reached last Friday between the ministry and the transport sector -represented in the National Road Transport Committee (CNTC)-, which has allowed the union to cancel the work stoppages initially planned for yesterday, today and tomorrow, dedicating a whole section to financing the roads. Within this heading, the

The Executive undertakes to present a study of alternatives that “analyzes the different viable options to establish a financing mechanism”, in addition to addressing the matter from the “consensus” with the sector.

Both points, they explain from the sector, were already included in the agreement that the carriers signed with the previous Secretary of State, Pedro Saura, in the summer of 2020. The novelty comes in the last point of the epigraph, which states that «the mechanisms so that this cost is passed on to the price of transport on a mandatory basis ”.

The deputy general secretary of the Spanish Confederation of Goods Transport (CETM), Dulsé Díaz, explains to this newspaper that this point supposes a commitment of the Executive by which “the transport sector will be able to pass on the tolls” to the shippers. “If right now we charge 100, with the tolls we will charge 100 plus the cost of the fee,” explains Díaz.

The Government has not yet publicly communicated how it will articulate the implementation of these rates. However, the sources consulted explain that the model will consist of the short-term application of a vignette and the long-term application of a system of payment per kilometer. In addition, the Executive has insisted, actively and passively, that tolls will not be imposed and the new rates will be agreed, both with the political opposition and with the productive fabric. Carriers, for their part, demanded direct compensation if tolls affected them, an assumption that with the new agreement remains up in the air.

On the other hand, the agreement between Ministry and carriers It could add fuel to the fire in the conflict that the sector maintains with the shippers. Because, in addition to having to assume tolls, distribution is also responsible for measures such as the prohibition of the driver’s participation in loading and unloading operations and the mandatory review of the price of transport due to the variation in the price of fuel. This last modification would make compulsory “the automatic revision of the price of the transport in the cases of variation of the price of diesel from the moment of contracting until the effective realization of the transport.”

They are not pronounced

From the big chains distributors They regret that they have not been called to the negotiating table, despite the impact that the agreed measures could have on the sector. Although for the moment they prefer not to pronounce on the future rule.

“At the moment we do not know what it means or what implications the mechanisms will have on the cost of tolls that are being studied, nor do we know about the revision of rates based on the evolution of diesel. They say that before 60 days there will be a rule that regulates it. Then we will talk “, tell this newspaper sources of the Spanish Association of Distributors, Self-services and Supermarkets (Asedas).

Distributors of mass consumption this weekend celebrated the suspension of the strikes, but at the same time regretted the length of the negotiations. A delay that according to the representatives of the sector has had an extra cost of several hundred million due to the effort made to advance purchases “and avoid a shortage.”

In any case, the modifications appear to be close to being approved. The Minister of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda, Raquel Sánchez, He assured last Saturday that the agreement with the carriers will materialize in a royal decree law that will be approved at the end of February at the latest. An agreement that the head of the former Ministry of Development hopes will be “durable” with the transport sector.

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