Road freight transport lost EUR 2.55 billion in 2023 due to delays at borders (employer official)

Romania’s road freight transport industry lost EUR 2.55 billion in 2023 due to delays at borders, from EUR 2.41 billion in 2022, Radu Dinescu, secretary general of the National Union of Romania’s Road Hauliers (UNTRR) told a specialist conference on Monday.

“According to our estimates, last year we lost EUR 2.55 billion as a road freight transport industry, as against EUR 2.41 billion in 2022. In March 2011, Romania had the earliest occasion to integrate with the Schengen area. Cumulatively, we have recorded losses of EUR 19.1 billion since 2012, which is equivalent of the value of Romania’s 2003 haulage market,” Dinescu told “ZF Logistics, Transport and Automotive: Between electrification, nearshoring and omnichannel”.

In his opinion, the situation can be greatly improved at the internal borders of the European Union.

“Hauliers are waiting between eight and 16 hours to cross into Hungary, with an all-time high of five days a few years ago. That happened when one of the big automotive companies had to choose between Hungary and Romania, between Oradea and Debrecen, and, given this long waiting time, made the decision to stay in Hungary and not in Romania. At the border with Bulgaria, they are waiting for 36 hours.”

Dinescu added that the Bulgarian authorities have made a parking lot in public-private partnership, and the parking operator “also operates the virtual queue.”

“If you sit in his parking lot, you pay three and a half times more than Bulgarians pay. If you choose not to stay in his parking lot and just register for free in the virtual queue, unfortunately, you will pass after 40 hours, so you will definitely wait longer. It works on the principle: “Leave us your phone number and we’ll call you”, which doesn’t really happen. All these things lead us to colossal losses.”

Regarding non-Schengen customs, he pointed out that “the situation is disastrous.”

“Between Ukraine and Romania, there are ten days to 15 days to cross between Ukraine and Romania. With Moldova things are a little better: it’s between three and nine days.”