The Minister of Mobility and Housing, Josep Marí, and the president of the Balearic Goods Transport Association – FEBT, Ezequiel Horrach, have signed afternoon the agreement reached between the Government and the Balearic Transport Business Federation to improve the working conditions of the sector and mitigate the economic effects of rising fuel prices as a result of the war in Ukraine.
The Minister of Mobility and Housing explained: “With this agreement, we start the direct aid announced by the Government for a strategic sector such as the transport of goods in our islands, but we go much further. We are also involved in the development and application of the current regulatory framework of the sector in key aspects such as the regulation of loading and unloading times of goods, in the review of the price of transport due to changes in fuel prices, waiting times, as well as the training needs of professional drivers. These are fundamental aspects for the sector to guarantee its future”.
Measures of the agreement
The agreement foresees a plan of direct economic aids for the companies and self-employed with vehicles dedicated to the transport of goods by road, residing in the Balearic Islands, with administrative authorization for public transport.
The aid plan has a total budget of 5.5 million euros. To be eligible for this aid, the increase in fuel expenditure compared between the first quarter of 2021 and the first quarter of 2022 must exceed 5%. The aid will be available to all carriers who have a public service freight transport card, which is estimated to be up to 7,400 in the Balearic Islands as a whole.
The agreement signed today by the Government and the business grouping of the discretionary service of goods of the Balearic Islands (FEBT) includes other actions aimed at improving the working conditions of the sector.
On the one hand, the Government will carry out special monitoring through the inspection services of the application of the regulation of loading and unloading operations by the driver included in the Royal Decree-Law 3/2022 approved on March 1. The Government undertakes to convey to the transporters’ customers – distributors, department stores, department stores, etc. – the need to respect and enforce the current regulations.
The Ministry of Mobility and Housing will support the development of the transport price review clause for the variation of fuel prices, also provided for in Royal Decree-Law 3/2022, so that companies and self-employed can apply it to their customers. It will develop a virtual calculator to be able to know the variation of the fuel from the beginning of the transport contract until the effective completion of the same.
It will also take steps with the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda (MTMA) with the aim of finding an appropriate regulation to facilitate compliance with driving and rest times by freight transport companies that are affected by the schedules of the ferries connecting the islands and the mainland, taking into account that drivers have difficulties to comply with the daily rest.
The agreement also includes the need for the islands to have secure and guarded parking spaces for those vehicles engaged in the transport of goods by road, in order to prevent theft of goods, fuel, etc.
Another aspect has to do with training. Therefore, in view of the lack of professional drivers in the sector, the Government will work hand in hand with the sector to establish a pilot plant for the training of drivers who can be incorporated into road transport companies.