Hardly bearable diesel price: Logistics industry warns: War threatens supply chains

Hard to bear the price of diesel
Logistics industry warns: War threatens supply chains

The war in Ukraine hit the German logistics industry twice: many companies can no longer afford the increased expenditure on diesel. In addition, hundreds of Ukrainian truck drivers could soon be missing behind the wheels. This would have an impact on the supply of the population.

The logistics industry is warning of bankruptcies because of the sharp rise in fuel prices in the wake of the Ukraine war. Even if only a few German transport companies carry out transports to or from the Ukraine, the medium-sized industry is very badly affected by the exploding fuel prices, said Dirk Engelhardt, spokesman for the Federal Association of Road Haulage, Logistics and Disposal (BGL). “The financial limit of many transport companies has been reached”.

There is still little sign of the war in Ukraine in German supermarkets – but that could change soon.

(Foto: picture alliance / Fotostand)

The prices for diesel in particular have been rising for months, but so have the costs for personnel and the exhaust gas cleaning agent AdBlue. Escalation clauses for diesel in contracts could no longer absorb the rapidly rising prices. “There is simply a risk of a wave of insolvencies in the German transport logistics industry,” said Engelhardt in Frankfurt. Then the supply of population and economy would be in danger. Sooner or later, higher fuel prices would also be reflected in everyday products in the supermarket.

Associations in the logistics and bus industry had already warned on Wednesday that fuel costs would become a fundamental burden. They call for the temporary introduction of cheaper commercial diesel. In Spain, France and Italy, for example, the energy tax for commercial diesel will be reimbursed, Engelhardt said.

The logistics industry in Europe is also threatened with the loss of more than 100,000 Ukrainian truck drivers because of the Ukraine war, the BGL fears. They could become unavailable due to conscription orders into the Ukrainian army and be absent from Polish and Lithuanian transport companies.

In 2021, at least 7 percent of the trucks used in Germany were driven by Ukrainian drivers, Engelhardt said. The shortage of personnel in the industry is already great: According to the BGL, there is a shortage of 60,000 to 80,000 truck drivers in Germany, and the gap is growing by 15,000 every year. According to the association, not enough staff can be recruited from Eastern Europe because drivers are also scarce there.

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