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Navigating Germany’s C02 toll increase

NAVIGATING GERMANY'S CO2 TOLL INCREASE

GERMAN ROAD TOLL COSTS ARE ABOUT TO INCREASE SIGNIFICANTLY. STARTING ON DECEMBER 1ST, 2023, TOLLS WILL INCLUDE A HEFTY CO₂ SURCHARGE FOR HEAVY GOODS VEHICLES OVER 7.5 TONNES.

Without updates to your existing transport strategy through Germany, this jump in the toll rate could strongly impact the cost of your company’s logistics operations.

The good news? There has never been a better time or stronger incentive to optimise your logistics flow for higher efficiency and crucial cost savings.

Understanding the new CO₂ toll in Germany

Germany is behind schedule to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 65% by 2030 compared to its emissions levels in 1990. (Climate Change News) The country’s longer-term goal of net zero emissions by 2045 is also in jeopardy due to this delay in results. It’s within this context that the new CO₂ surcharge on truck tolls will come into effect on December 1st, 2023.

The new “proportional toll rate” for carbon dioxide emissions is a part of the latest amendment to the German Federal Highways Toll Act. The amendment aims to reduce emissions by accelerating the shift towards climate-neutral drive systems and a modal pivot that embraces more rail and water transport.

A 200 euro surcharge per tonne of traffic-related CO₂ emissions forms the basis for the new rate. It will combine with existing fees covering infrastructure, air pollution, and noise pollution to create Germany’s overall road toll calculation. Practically, the updated toll rate per kilometre will be directly proportional to a vehicle’s carbon dioxide emissions. (German Federal Government)

For any company shipping goods from, through, or within Germany on a regular basis, the new road toll surcharge is guaranteed to increase operational costs.

“THERE HAS NEVER BEEN A BETTER TIME OR STRONGER INCENTIVE TO OPTIMISE YOUR LOGISTICS FLOW FOR HIGHER EFFICIENCY AND CRUCIAL COST SAVINGS.”

In the example below, a shipment departing from a loading dock near Berlin en route to a UK destination would cover approximately 590 km of German toll roads. Using a truck with an Euro 6 emission class, this simple before and after calculation highlights exactly how impactful this toll increase will be:

Even at just one shipment a day, five days a week, the total monthly cost increase will run into the thousands of euros.

Fortunately, this is where capable logistics experts can fulfil a key role. The right logistics partner can help lower overall costs, limit kilometres on the road, and minimise CO₂ emissions. A more efficient, sustainable transport plan will also align your company more closely with your own sustainability targets.

How to offset the cost of
the German CO₂ surcharge

1. Logistics chain assessment

Is your current logistics chain working for you or against you from a sustainability standpoint? And could it inadvertently be contributing to higher shipping costs?

Exploring new logistics strategies and modes of transportation can go a long way toward limiting long-haul trucking kilometres – and road toll expenses. The cleanest path forward might be a shift away from road-based route planning towards an intermodal approach that prioritises rail transport and sea shipping.

An experienced logistics team will help you assess your current logistics flow, offering impactful process recommendations, including modal shifts. Even small changes to your shipping status quo have the potential to significantly reduce emissions – and ultimately benefit your financial bottom line.

2. Data analysis for informed decision-making

Eliminating road kilometres from your transport lines altogether is an unlikely scenario. However, robust data analysis will empower you to make cost-effective decisions about each stage of your company’s shipping process.

A reliable shipping partner will dive deep into global transportation data research, interpreting a wealth of information related to load optimisation, fuel efficiency, fleet performance, available routes, road taxes, and carbon emissions. Combining these analytics insights with your company’s unique shipping data will help identify cost-efficient and carbon-minimal routes and modes of transportation to get your goods from point A to point B.

3. Administrative support

Paperwork is a pesky given when dealing with toll increases and shifts in operational costs. This added administrative burden makes it a must to have an informed and proactive admin support team on your side to alleviate any administrative hassle.

A high-quality logistics partner with decades of experience will always pursue the most up-todate information on transportation regulations throughout Europe and the UK. Commitment to knowledge and industry expertise is what ensures regulatory compliance, adding ease to your shipping experience. Working with a dedicated logistics company is also the most straightforward way to avoid unnecessary fees, fines, or overcharges.

Balance change with change

As your trusted shipping partner to the UK and Ireland, NDQ is ready and equipped to help your company adapt to the new toll regulations in Germany. Our reliable team is standing by to build a customised, future-proof logistics plan that matches your unique freighting needs.

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