THE 44-TON CONTROVERSY

The 28 Member States that make up the European Union in only eight countries are established 44 tonnes and only 4 countries allow a height exceeding 4.5 metres. For land transport, 44 tonnes refer to the maximum authorised mass limited to this tonnage and with a height of 4.5 metres. This makes it possible to increase the average load of vehicles and the consequent reduction per kilometre and consumption.

Currently in Spain this tonnage is not allowed in spite of continuous demands by organizations or shippers to be extended. Countries such as France or Portugal already have it in force. A measure which, regardless of whether it is finally implemented or not, will be significantly influenced by factors such as electronic documentation or the role of digital platforms which, in the medium term, will mark the land transport sector.

From Stock Logistic, as an integral logistic operator that manages traffic all over the world, we have already commented on the trends in the land transport of containers for the coming years, and now, the debate on the 44 tons once again highlights the different points of view among shippers, carriers or organizations in the sector.

Advantages of 44 tons

According to some studies, putting the 44 tons into operation would mean:

  1. Increasing the load capacity of vehicles.
  2. Decrease in the number of CO2 emissions, which some reports put at 8.4%, with a saving of 3.24 liters per 100 kilometers.
  3. Reduction in driving hours and personnel costs.

This measure is defended by the large loaders in this country who associate it with concepts such as sustainability, energy efficiency or economic savings.

The CNTC rejects the measure

However, the National Committee for Road Transport (CNTC, in its Spanish acronym) has on more than one occasion expressed its rejection of this measure because of its implications for road safety, infrastructure costs and even for the very structures of transport companies, with foreseeable job losses.

Furthermore, its detractors point out that, in the short term, overcapacity would be generated since the supply of land transport would suddenly increase by up to 16%.

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