Amid political uncertainties and revival projects
Major plans on renovating the entire National transport fleet, but the sector doesn’t “take off”.
Renewal and technological upgrade. These are the challenges facing the road transport sector and, unless overcome, the sector as a whole will hardly continue to represent one of the backbones of the economic recovery currently taking place.
That is why, the decision of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport to confirm, once again, buying incentive for road transport companies aimed at renewing and upgrading their fleets, goes in the direction of increasing the stakeholder’s commitment in promoting sustainable mobility taking into consideration the use of alternative fuels, with a lower environmental impact, and the need to streamline and simplify logistic operations.
"This measure meets with our complete satisfaction - declared Andrea Zambon Bertoja, president of Anfia’s Trailers section. – Recent structural investment support policies, in fact, are speeding-up the process of renewing the current National fleet of industrial vehicles, bolstering both the market and production. It is also a virtuous example of the good results that can be achieved by working together for a common and ambitious goal: increasingly sustainable freight transport modes."
The Decree of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport as well as the Departmental Decree have been published on the Official Gazette and illustrate the manner in which the € 35.9 million, set aside for investments in favour of road hauliers until 15 April 2018, will be allocated thus facilitating the purchase of alternative vehicles, trailers and semitrailers for intermodal transport and, for the first time, trailers, semitrailers or equipment for 7 tonnes vehicles and above, dedicated to temperature controlled haulage ATP1. Road transport companies are thus encouraged to apply for the needed incentives aimed at purchasing environmentally-friendly industrial vehicles and intermodal semi-trailers.
The Decree allocates € 36 million for incentives towards the purchase of industrial vehicles and trailers. This figure includes € 10.5 million incentive for new vehicles with a total mass of more than 3.5 tonnes powered by compressed or liquefied natural gas, diesel-electric hybrids or totally electric vehicles (in this case, the incentive applies also to transforming vehicles with a combustion engine into a full electric vehicle).
A further ten million are allocated to those who buy new vehicles with a total mass of more than 11.5 tonnes with Euro VI engines, but only after scrapping a vehicle of the same category and with a lower environmental class engine.
In addition, the Decree allocates a further 14.4 million euro incentive for new trailers or semitrailers. Access is granted to companies that decide to purchase new vehicles equipped for combined road / rail (UIC 596-5) or road-sea (with IMO hooks) transport, or equipped with advanced safety and energy saving devices, or towed vehicles with a total mass of over 7 tonnes set up for controlled-temperature transport (ATP) fully compliant with environmental requirements. The remaining figure (1,050 million) is used for containers and intermodal trailers / semitrailers.
Applications must be submitted only electronically via the Portale dell’Automobilista by 15 April 2018 for vehicles purchased between the 2nd August 2017 and 15th April 2018. The limit set for a single enterprise is 700 thousand euro. The contribution for a single purchase depends on the type of vehicle. Small and medium-sized enterprises and firms belonging to a business network receive an extra 10%, calculated on the net amount of the contribution.
In the first half of 2017, the estimated market increase, compared with the same period of 2016, was 9.5%, with 11,755 registered units against 10,732. For heavy duty vehicles with a GVW of 16 or more tonnes, estimates for June show a 0.6% decrease with 1,530 units versus 1,539. With 9,484 units compared to 8,470, during the January-June 2017 period, the market recorded an increase of 12% over the same period last year.
"Available data - says Franco Fenoglio, president of Unrae's industrial vehicles section - show a slowdown in registrations, as recent trends also highlighted. May and June figures especially sent a warning, which confirms how – in the periods preceding expected purchasing incentives – the demand slows down as buyers postpone the decision to buy new vehicles.”
According to insiders, the current political and economic situation in Italy is contributing to creating a climate of uncertainty that undermines the demand. Even the ongoing activities at European level on the overall revision of road transport rules, which feature some of the critical points already reported by the sector associations, do not inspire any confidence.
"A significant slowdown in the market," continues Fenoglio, "would also postpone the desired achievement of any kind of sustainable transport system, a conditions deemed as necessary by all players involved. On the other hand, the logistics and transport sectors are closely linked to the country's economic performance and changes in its internal product.”
If in a country’s production system, the demand suffers – continues the manufacturer’s representative - the demand for transport services will also suffer as a result; yet the economic contribution of the industry towards the country’s economy should make the government think."
Port Community System: free services - The sector approves
The Port Community System services remain free, except for new market services, which received wide approval from all Confetra members. According to the transporters Association "Free PCS services – according to a note - cannot be derogated except when new market services are activated". "Such free services - continues the confederation - may be pursued also by paying the costs of PCS maintenance and management through one of the fees, taxes and additional contributions already found on port and logistic systems, often applied by way of derogation from the Law 84/94.” In addition, Assoporti Servizi has launched a study to equip all Italian ports with a common PCS standard.
The Port Community System is a telematic platform that integrates various services and processes for port operators, exchanging information and electronic documents between different computer systems. The PCS can manage, for example, the procedures of the entire ship cycle, the telematic handling of customs documents and procedures, accesses to the port area, vehicle tracking and shipments, or loading and unloading activities in terminals.
Tachograph tampering: The Court of Appeal confirms the penalties
The judges of the Supreme Court ruled against an appeal establishing a no case to answer in the case involving a driver who had placed a magnet in the tachograph. The Court of Appeal therefore confirmed with a new ruling that tampering with the tachograph of an industrial vehicle is a crime and therefore punishable through the sanctions provided for in the Criminal Code, as well as those provided by the Road Code for possible breach of driving time and rest. This concept had already been stated by several judges in previous cases and confirmed in the appeal brought by the Attorney General of Florence against the decision of the Preliminary Hearing Judge of the Livorno Courthouse who stated a no case to answer on a driver caught with a magnet on his digital tachography.