CO2 directive forces increases

Author: Marek Szymański

In 2024, expect to see another increase in transportation costs in European Union countries, and therefore an increase in costs throughout the supply chain. The reasons?

The obligation of member states to implement the so-called Vignette Directive, also known as the CO2 Directive. According to the directive’s provisions, carbon-dependent fees must be introduced in European Union countries by March 25, 2024. In practice, the idea is to increase road tolls depending on the level of greenhouse gas emissions. 

Road toll increases began back in December 2023. Germany, which shook supply chains across Europe. Indeed, the toll increased by almost 90%. Toll increases in the rest of Europe are (for now) not so drastic. The Austrian government will raise the toll gradually, and has started with a 5% increase in 2024. Ultimately, experts believe, the toll rate, due to the climate charge, may increase by about 25-30%. On Hungarian highways, the toll rose by a maximum of 22% at the beginning of January, and the Czech government has announced a 10-15% increase in the toll from March this year. 

The vignette directive applies to all vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 3.5 tons, but in Germany, for example, it will soon apply to most vehicles. Representatives of the transport and logistics industry are looking at this series of increases with concern. Rafal Jablonski, CEO at logistics operator System Transport, believes that in the face of the recession, supply chains in Europe are not ready for such increases. – The effects on distribution costs appeared in practice overnight. The impact of this noble initiative is unimaginable, Jablonski believes. And the TSL sector is also facing increases in social costs related to labor laws.