A total of five topics are included in the catalogue of demands presented by Alexander Klacska, Chairman of the Transport Division of the Austrian Chamber of Commerce (WKO), to journalists on Monday. These are basically the reduction of CO2 emissions, elucidation of the “diesel myth” instead of the planned approval of the diesel tax, more efficient organisation of the Alpine transit, reduction of the shortage of skilled workers and drivers, and a future fund for infrastructure as a basis for international connections with Austria.
These demands are based on a survey on the cyclical situation in the transport industry in the second quarter of 2019. The surveyed companies asessed demand, business situation and order situation in the past three months, largely positive, but not quite as optimistic as a year ago. Similarly, international data such as the Container Volume Index shows a somewhat more volatile picture than before.
In order to achieve the climate goals set by the EU, the transport industry demands a technology-neutral promotion of low-carbon fuels and alternative propulsion systems. A partial success in this context, is the National Council’s decision that liquefied natural gas (LNG) will no longer be taxed according to the mineral oil tax but to the more favorable natural gas tax.
As 77 percent of 344 freight transport companies surveyed say that they feel the lack of truck drivers in their own operations, the industry is calling for the introduction of a new two-year apprenticeship called “Truckoperator”, which will include driving lessons with the driving school plus 30,000 kilometers with an experienced driver in the truck. The model truck 17 is to enable the truck driver’s license from 17 years. Klacska: “In order to fight the shortage of skilled workers, we have to reach the young people as early as possible and that’s when they decide on a teaching job,” he justifies at least a test run.
In the Alpine Transit sector, the industry is calling for an improvement in combined transport such as the Rolling Highway, the expansion of access routes to the Brenner Base Tunnel, harmonisation of driving bans, and a higher weight limit for craneable semi-trailers. In addition, they call for the cancellation of the electricity tax for the electricity produced by the railway itself.