This “Footnotes” section is a space for us to share our views on issues related to transport and logistics, a topic that is far too often reduced to a discussion on the state of highways and truck drivers’ behaviour. Sometimes, our opinion may not please everybody and sometimes they may be quite controversial. But they are always founded on our years of experience with the transport market.
This time, however, let us start on a positive note (the negative angle will soon follow, though) – VCHD Cargo‘s services are still in full operation both in the Czech Republic and in Germany where we have a local subsidiary. Our drivers continue to deliver goods even to customers in the hardest-hit parts of Spain and Italy and we are still able to guarantee 48-hour delivery to anywhere in Europe.
So much for the good news. Many of you might have heard reports that Czech carriers worry about a potential collapse of the transport market – trucks are pulled off the roads, companies must continue to pay fixed costs while customers’ payment morale is decreasing. Businesses lack money for wages and drivers are losing their jobs. To be honest, VCHD Cargo has felt the significant cooling of the market due to coronavirus measures, too, but we took the decision not to fire a single employee. However, we feel it necessary to mention something that has not been discussed in the media yet.
Carriers are among companies that contribute the most to the national budget. (We can prove this claim on the example of our own company: in 2019, VCHD Cargo generate revenues of CZK 720 million and paid approx. CZK 220 million to the state in various taxes.) The tax burden on transport companies in our country is more than 30% – including excise tax, highway toll, income tax, social and health insurance. Furthermore, carriers often serve as a source of interest-free credit. They typically pay their liabilities to the state within 14 days while customers usually pay their invoices in 60 or even more days. It is rather ironic that the only support Czech carriers have received so far during this crisis is a suspension of road taxes and tolls. We anxiously await the time when the handouts granted to anybody who complains loud enough in the media will have to be paid back.
Will transport businesses once again become the target of unprofessional politicians demanding that they foot the bill without any relief? If so, we may be facing an even greater shortage of drivers and even transport business in the near future d .
VCHD Cargo has decided not to fire anybody. We cannot bear the thought of leaving our drivers to cope with this situation on their own. But we must stress that we are greatly concerned about the situation. We find it really concerning that the state is unable to support one of the most affected markets, which also provides one of the fundamental services necessary for the functioning of our society, despite the fact that this market has paid disproportionate amounts to the state budget for decades.