Global recovery at risk as road transport losses escalate

Geneva, Switzerland: Road freight transport losses globally in 2020 will exceed €550bn, according to research by the IRU.

The research shows that more than 3.5m road transport operators globally are facing unprecedented financial losses this year, as a result of transport restrictions and the overall economic downturn caused by the pandemic.

Goods transport companies globally expect an average 18% decline in turnover in 2020, totalling €551bn.

The sector is significantly affected in the Middle East and North Africa (-22%) and Asia (-21%); and in Europe is down €64bn (-17%). Companies in Argentina, China and Iran face more than a 30% decline

“Road transport services are fundamental to economies and communities everywhere,” said Umberto de Pretto,secretary general, IRU. “These new findings are alarming. Every single road transport operator that goes bankrupt will impact the movement of people and goods.”

Clear recovery measures are needed the IRU says and it has published a 10 point recovery plan, with financial and non-financial measures for governments and banks, to support struggling road transport operators, ease the movement of people and goods, and drive global recovery, but very little, and in some cases nothing, has happened since publication it says.

“We have seen many governments adjust regulations and announce recovery packages, but the detail for road transport operators is generally vague,” said Umberto de Pretto.

“Our research points to the immediate need for measures targeted to the industry that match the scale of the current situation. Even at the peak of the crisis, road transport remained flexible, operational and continued to play its unique role. Now, global recovery efforts are endangered without clear government action to support road transport operators.”

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