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Freight transport – All Things You Should Know

The road freight liberalization measures led to an increase in the number of bankruptcies of road transport companies (following the multiplication of operating authorizations itself following the definitive abolition of the quota system). The truck load boards tariff war caused by the abrogation of compulsory road pricing, replaced by a reference tariff), prompting public authorities to adopt new provisions.

This text aims to put a brake on under-pricing and violations of transport regulations, objectives reaffirmed through certain provisions of the law. State action also concerns relations between partners in the transport chain, as evidenced by the text of the law on unfair terms and the presentation of contracts.

With the advent of the single market, the Community dimension of road transport policy is asserting itself: the aim is to organize the liberalization of transport and to define common social and fiscal standards.

Community social legislation is mainly concerned with the harmonization of driving times and the means used to control them; the creation of the carrier certificate is also intended to prevent the employment of drivers from third countries on unfavorable terms. But harmonization remains limited, and disparities remain, particularly in terms of traffic restrictions and working conditions.

Following the report, which highlights the strengths and weaknesses of road haulage companies and the challenges posed by the enlargement of the country in this area, the Minister of Transport announces the setting up of preparatory work for the launch of an action plan for the competitiveness and employment of the sector.

Faced with the risk of saturation of road infrastructures and the increasing importance of environmental concerns, public authorities have been promoting intermodality in transport.

The combined transport, which is the transport over long distances and in the same container freight using several integrated modes of transport, is the easiest way to ensure the transfer from road to other modes of transport. Among the various possible combinations, combined rail-road transport is therefore particularly encouraged.

Non-urban public transport

Non-urban public transport – or bus transport is subject to the Community rules on access to the profession of carrier and the exercise of passenger transportation activities.

They are divided between services relating to a commercial activity subject to authorization from the State services; and activities of public service ( “Public regular services”, “services on demand”, “public occasional services”) organized by a local authority.

Concerning the latter, the responsibilities are:

  • The departments organize all non-urban public transport on their territory (especially school transport),
  • Regions pilot regional networks,
  • The communes and their groupings can, on delegation of the departments, organize school transport and lines serving their own territory.

Since then, relations between the organizing authority and the transport company have been clarified by the law on the prevention of corruption and the transparency of economic life and public procedures; and the association of organizing authorities authorized by the law of solidarity and urban development.

The adoption of multimodal schemes for collective transport services, which favor the organization of alternative modes of transport for the use of individual motor vehicles, constitutes a new encouragement to the development of non-urban public transport.
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