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Policies for economic growth needed for a real recovery

Ecomotive: Automotive Economy


Unrae statement: severe restrictions on imports of used trailers and semi-trailers

Renzo Servadei

It all revolves around the implemention of policies aimed at directing the market towards the purchase of vehicles capable of ensuring the greatest possible environmental and economic sustainability, especially as far as urban goods distribution. For this reason, Unrae calls for "greater awareness about auxiliary power units destined to manage on-board devices, which should still respect existing environmental and noise pollution standards".

"The market still reveals a strong dependence on the inconsistency of investment funds on behalf of the sector, which does not offer enough guarantees to entrepreneurs in need of renovating their fleet of trailers, largely obsolete and potentially unsafe for road circulation, especially when these vehicles, without advanced safety devices, are hooked to some of the latest and most advanced trucks", says Sandro Mantella, Unrae’s trailer and semi-trailer unit coordinator.

However, let us start by looking at some positive data: the market for trailers with a gross vehicle mass of more than 3.5 tonnes has been consistently on the rise in the first five months of this year with a +16.1% over the same period of 2016, with 7.551 new registrations against 6.505, according to data from UNRAE’s Centre of Studies and Statistics, based on registration data provided by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport.

But obviously this is not enough: "We ask", Mantella continues, "to severely restrict the import of used trailers in Italy, while we support the liberalization of rentals. Therefore, we are carefully considering the proposed amendment of the Directive 2006/1/EC recently submitted to the Parliament and the European Council with the aim of overcoming the limitations of that Directive in those areas where it allows, among other things, Member States to set limits or prohibit entirely the free rental of vehicles, used for the carriage of goods, with a gross vehicle mass greater than 6 tonnes".

All of this while in the first three months of 2017 heavy transport vehicle traffic on Italian motorways increased by 4.5% over the same period of 2016. The data, developed by Aiscat (Associazione Italiana Società Concessionarie Autostrade e Trafori), confirms the recovery of the passenger and freight transport sectors in our country. However, if we broaden the horizon to include light commercial vehicles, the growth trend recorded in the heavy duty sector is not confirmed. In fact, light transport vehicle traffic on our motorways fell by 1.5% in the first quarter of 2017 compared with 2016.

Adding up both categories, we end up with a substantial balance between the traffic recorded this year and the one recorded last year.

Furthermore, according to a study by Confetra, the total turnover from road haulage and urban delivery services combined, marked a recovery and both sectors appear to be finally looking at the light at the end of the tunnel, while international forwarding continues to suffer mainly due to a contraction in rentals.

Despite the risks arising from the emergence of protectionist policies that could hamper the recovery of the global economy, expectations for the rest of the 2017 are rather optimistic with over half of the respondents (54.2 per cent) who foresee a further growth, 43 per cent estimated a stable trend and only 2.8 per cent predicted a declining trend.

On the financial side – still according to Confetra - the ratio between insolvency and turnover is improving, - 1% compared to the 1.2% in the first half – while, on average, collection times have slightly lengthened reaching 79.4 days compared to 78.5 days during the first six months of the year.

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