New International Road Transport Union (IRU) research shows that more than 3.5 million road transport operators globally are facing unprecedented financial losses this year.
This outcome is a result of transport restrictions and the overall economic downturn caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Goods transport companies globally expect an average 18 per cent decline in turnover in 2020, totalling €551 billion.
The sector is significantly impacted in the Middle East and North Africa (-22 per cent) and Asia (-21 per cent); Europe is down €64 billion (-17 per cent). Companies in Argentina, China and Iran face more than 30 per cent decline.
This is an estimated impact on road freight turnover in FY2020 as of April 2020 based on IRU member countries.
Both goods and passenger transport companies reported that more restrictions were put in place than facilitation measures during peak confinement periods, further impacting the industry.
“Road transport services are fundamental to economies and communities everywhere,” said IRU Secretary General, Umberto de Pretto. “These new findings are alarming. Every single road transport operator that goes bankrupt will impact the movement of people and goods.”
IRU 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.
“We have seen many governments adjust regulations and announce recovery packages, but the detail for road transport operators is generally vague,” said de Pretto.
“Our research points to the immediate need for measures targeted to the industry that match the scale of the current situation,” he said. 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.”