Afternoon tea with an expert in the field

I am happy to announce my new segment on the blog titled “Afternoon tea with an expert in the field,” where I will invite colleagues, partners, clients, and other experts to discuss various issues concerning the freight transport market.

It is my pleasure to begin symbolically with a colleague of my team at Move Expert, Martyna Valužytė, who serves as the Product manager of Mobility Solutions and is also one of the authors on this blog.

Could you please introduce yourself and your position at Move-Expert?

I have been serving as the Product Manager at Move-Expert for four years now, overseeing operations in both European and non-European markets. I have been involved since the early stages of introducing Mobility Package 1, leading our efforts to assist customers in transitioning their compliance as smoothly as possible. Unfortunately, our customers have not had the easiest experience.

Why? Can you explain more?

It was clear from the early days that the Mobility Package will be an additional significant burden for transport operators on top of all the other administrative requirements they have. The necessity of parts of the regulation has been questioned from the beginning, and the Court of Justice is soon going to announce the final decision on whether part of the regulation regarding vehicle returns every 8 weeks will be cancelled (which is quite expected).

Moreover, two years have passed, and still, a lot of rules are not clear; legal disparities, differences in enforcement practises, and the interpretation of the law put operators in the position of being “discoverers” of the correct compliance methods. Without access to European-level information, operators face big challenges in complying with everything.

What are the most common problems of transport operators?

Transport operators often struggle to access understandable content regarding regulations in the countries where they operate. Moreover, I am concerned about significant disparities that exist in control practices and legal interpretations. As I already mentioned, it’s incredible that “confirmed” compliance in one jurisdiction does not necessarily ensure compliance elsewhere under the same rule and, at this stage, our clients are left to be “buried in the traps of legal shortcomings”. “Local” interpretations of each Member States are not synchronized with the European position, and without access to the European-level global view, one cannot ensure safety. This is one of our team’s main goals: to ensure that we can provide our customers with materials that meet European-level requirements. 

What are the most common infringements you face during road controls?

I would categorize infringements into three types: routine, accidental, and doubtful. Many violations occur accidentally, often due to human error, making it unfortunate to bear preventable penalties. However, a significant portion of penalties comes from lack of awareness about specific requirements or difficulties accessing relevant information. And lastly, one of the most escalated topics, doubtful infringements, arises from legal uncertainties, varying interpretations of regulations, or improper enforcement actions, causing significant challenges for our clients that we each day try to help our clients to fight with. Our aim is to help our customers to deal with all 3 types of infringements, therefore warning and preventing them, but also helping them with roadside checks to ensure that if they are penalized, it is done legally. 

What should hauliers know during checks, in short?

Hauliers should prioritize cooperation, gather as much information as possible about the control situation, and avoid leaving the driver to resolve issues alone. Language barriers are a significant problem nowadays, with drivers often misunderstanding requests during checks. So legal support in the mediation process is a critical step in managing the risks to reputation. It is important to mention that once a violation has been identified, it raises the risk of being more actively controlled and evaluated as carriers of bad reputation. 

What challenges do you face during roadside checks? How can you assist for the controls?

I am upset to say that but one of the challenges we face is the reluctance of some inspectors to cooperate fully. They sometimes prevent clients from defending themselves and often rely hiding on the “spoken” driver’s comments on Google translate as the main “proof”, leaving subsequent legal actions as the only recourse to claim. We support our clients and their drivers by providing insight into the control process, verifying the legality of requests made by inspectors, and offering guidance on next steps. 

Why should they choose your services?

Our services support both administrative requirements like issuing posting certificates with the dedicated automation that reduce a lot of manual work, and legal services, like providing consultations on law interpretation or clarity regarding control proceedings, ensuring transparency in interactions between drivers and inspectors, verifying the legitimacy of requests made, and outlining a possible approach for appeal in all cases. We strive to support clients through challenging situations as smoothly as possible with our European level knowledge and team of professionals in the field. 

Could you please tell us if there is a recipe for good performance of the hauliers during their work?

Always double-check before proceeding, as one mistake can have very painful consequences. It’s unlikely that someone else will take the blame for you, so it’s crucial to be diligent and accountable.

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