An interest group representing several German industry associations is campaigning for an increase in the maximum weight of road trucks from the current 40 tonnes to 44 tonnes.
This would reduce the number of trucks journey by several millions, the 17 industries involved argue in a joint position paper. The interest group involves steel federation WV Stahl as well as the associations of the nonferrous metals, paper, construction materials and chemical industries, among others.
“Between 2010 and 2030, 39% growth in road traffic has been forecast,” says Andrea Heid, head of environment and transport at chemical industries association VCI. “An optimisation of the total weight would lead to a lower consumption of fuel and lower CO2 emissions. That’s how the transport sector could contribute considerably to reaching the climate targets,” she says.
The subscribers to the position paper also emphasise that the country is facing a shortage of truck drivers, which also demands a reduction of trucks and truck journeys. “We are really lacking one generation of drivers,” one rebar stockholder’s manager says, describing the problem to Kallanish.
“The problem began when the mandatory draft was abolished; the army used to be Germany’s largest driving school. Many obtained a licence to drive trucks during their army days and later ended up as full-time drivers at transport companies,” he explains. “Nowadays, it is mostly foreign drivers on German roads, often working under less favourable conditions,” he adds.