Almost 500 Lithuanian freight forwarders have moved to Poland – 4,500 vehicles will be added

These are mainly entrepreneurs who open branches and subsidiaries in Poland in order not to have to close their business in Lithuania. In the opinion of the freight forwarders, this solution is – at least for the time being – the most advantageous because it is so protect against the effects of the mobility package without having to relocate your company abroad.

However, experts warn that Lithuanian transport companies are increasingly expanding their branches abroad (especially in Poland, Germany and Belgium), which poses a significant threat to the Lithuanian market and the local supply chain.

This means that they will gradually cease their activities in the country. Companies located abroad register new tractors, hire truck drivers and take out bank loans, ”said Zenonas Buivydas, General Secretary of the Linava Road Haulage Association.

It’s easier in Poland

Ignas Volbikas, board member of Savesta Consulting, a company that provides services for the registration of transport activities in Poland, said that Lithuanian companies choose Poland because of the simpler procedures for employing professional drivers.

One of the reasons for the relocation of the activity (to Poland – editor’s note) is that the freight forwarders did not receive any additional amounts for the employment of third-country nationals – according to Ignas Volbikas.

At the beginning of the year, the Lithuanian authorities introduced a ceiling for the employment of people from countries outside the EU. The transport sector received 11,600 work permits for drivers from third countries in the year, but the transport companies already exhausted this quota in May.

Given the trends, the number of permits should be at least twice as high. In the past two years, Lithuania has issued almost 30,000 driving licenses to professional drivers from countries outside the European Union, recalls Povilas Drižas, Secretary General of the International Transport and Logistics Alliance.

Inadequate economic policies

The Lithuanian road transport sector has been in a serious crisis for several years. Initially because of the extremely high transport insurance and the shortage of labor, now also because of the mobility package, the pandemic and the wage increases for professional drivers.

Linava reports that last year new truck registrations in Lithuania fell by 43 percent or more than 3,000 vehicles compared to the previous year.

Freight forwarders no longer invest in their fleet (in Lithuania – editor’s note). It is not even real data as not all freight forwarders are members of the association, ”says Zenonas Buivydas, general secretary of the Linava association.

It is estimated that by the end of this year the Lithuanians will manage the fleet of around 4,000 to 4,500 trucks in Poland.

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