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The Latvian road freight transport sector - 2020

Latvian road freight transport (RFT) is mainly internationally-focused (around 80% of the sector’s total activity). Latvian companies tend to operate primarily in Scandinavia, the Baltic States and Russia. Travel to Western European countries was less frequent over the period studied than in 2017. The annual mileage of a Latvian HGV is lower than in the previous study: 120,400 km per year in 2020 compared to 138,000 km per year in 2017. The hauliers we met with pointed to the Covid health crisis and the consequences of the EU Mobility package to explain these changes. Drivers with Latvian contracts working internationally thus return home more often, on average once every two weeks. Several companies even report that their international drivers return home every weekend. Overall, a driver working internationally travelled 110,400 km in 2020, compared with 130,000 km in 2017.

In addition, certain cost items have increased in three years. This is the case for driver cost, which has risen 20.6% since 2017. This increase is explained by the rise in the national minimum wage (up 31.6% between 2017 and 2021) and increased travel allowances. Other noteworthy increases since 2017 include tolls (up 27.7%) and the cost of vehicle ownership (up 25.3%).

Furthermore, the tax on motor vehicles now takes into account the Euro class of the vehicle; as a result, Euro VI heavy goods vehicles now pay a lower charge. 

Overall, in 2020, the total cost per kilometre of a Latvian HGV used for international long-distance transport is estimated to be 0.82 €/km, an increase of 27% since 2017.

CNR invites you to discover this new study which brings details on the Latvian RFT sector with operating conditions in 2020.