In Poland, Ukrainian carriers with cheap diesel fuel are more and more likely to be driving for Polish bosses. Ukrainian drivers also become self-employed to compete in the European market.
Since the start of the war with Russia in 2014, Ukraine has reportedly lost more than five million people. If the causes of this demographic decline are multiple (low birth rate, loss of territory, victims of armed conflict), the most important is economic emigration. Thus, in less than five years, Russia and the European Union each hosted nearly two million Ukrainians. On the European side, Poland , which shares a common border with Ukraine and a similar language, is the first recipient of these flows, ahead of Germany and the Czech Republic. It is also in great need because, with an unemployment rate that fell below 4% this year, it does not find enough workers to provide for the needs of an economy that is still growing (4.6% in 2017, as planned in 2018). This is also true for road haulage companies, which already employ around 40,000 Ukrainian drivers. However, not all Ukrainians are satisfied with driving for Polish bosses. Although they are better paid than in their home country – one-to-three – many are self-employed and use their knowledge of both countries to exploit each other’s comparative advantages and compete with Polish carriers on their own. field . They are also accompanied by transport entrepreneurs in Ukraine who, failing to find manpower at home, are moving their business and fleet to Poland.
Asked by the information portal trans.INFO, Dmitry Leushkin of the transport company Prime explains the benefits. First of all, the business climate is more favorable in Poland than in Ukraine, where the administration is deemed to be more prone to corrupt practices. On the other hand, truck maintenance costs are lower on the Ukrainian side, which is why old vehicles bought in Poland are sent there to be refurbished before returning to the EU … the tank full. In Ukraine, the liter of diesel is charged less than € 0.9, against almost € 1.2 in Poland. In addition, the legislation allows tax-free imports of 600 liters per vehicle, the equivalent of a full tank. In this way, according to Dmitry Lekshkin, Ukrainian carriers can offer better fares within a radius of 800 kilometers from the eastern border of Poland. They would already be a thousand on the market.