The fiscal year 2016 had been a moderate one for Lower Austria’s forwarders. “From the end of last year, we have been able to see a higher employment rate, and there were signs for stabilisation. Being optimistic, I expect this trend to continue also this year, and a slowly rising outlook,” says Alfred Wolfram, Chairman of the forwarders group in the Lower Austrian Economic Chamber.
However, bureaucracy demands more and more time and labor. “For our industry, it is becoming increasingly difficult to comply with all regulations and laws, such as the SOLAS directives for determining the confirmed gross mass of containers, the dangerous goods regulations or the minimum wage regulations in various countries. There is an urgent need for action because we are almost dealing more with administration than with our actual work.”
There were some required reforms on the part of freight forwarders, but unfortunately not all could be fulfilled by Austria alone. “I am quite aware of this,” says Alfred Wolfram. “But it would be a considerable relief if the Austrian government could avoid unnecessary bureaucracy wherever possible.”
At present there are 405 forwarding companies in Lower Austria with 6,000 employees. Of these, 113 are apprentices.