State of Road Haulage (Report)

The European Commission identifies in a report the developments and problems of road haulage in general and the cabotage rules in particular. Cabotage refers to domestic commercial haulage operations carried out by a haulier established in another Member State. Cabotage is only allowed in the EU as an exception. According to the European Commission the cabotage provisions raise problems because they limit hauliers in increasing their efficiency, they restrict the markets accessible to hauliers and they cause empty runs. Therefore the Commission calls for relaxing the cabotage provisions.


There is no ordoliberal argument for maintaining cabotage restrictions. Regrettably, however, the Commission fails to put forward a clear argument in favour of their abolition but simply looks at "relaxation". The relaxation – or better still: the complete abolition – of cabotage restrictions, has several positive effects: it strengthens the internal market, brings down the price of road haulage and reduces CO2-emissions in the road transport sector. An EU-wide uniform application and implementation of the Cabotage Regulation creates a level playing field for transport companies.