Drivers missing across Europe

Investing in the development and greening of the fleet is not cheap even in a standard situation. Moreover, when there are no cars due to the chip crisis and drivers are even harder to find due to the thin supply on the market, plans have to be changed.

In an interview with CIANEWS, Geis CZ managing director Daniel Knaisl talks about this.

Fuel costs have risen by up to 20 percent. Do you hedge against sharp price fluctuations, for example, with long-term contracts or do you pass on the price increase to customers in full?
We have been dealing with fuel price changes for many years with the so-called fuel surcharge. This changes every month depending on fuel prices. Now this surcharge is as high as current fuel prices. There is virtually no other way to hedge against these cost increases.

How are you dealing with the current AdBlue problem?
The Adblue shortage is currently a Europe-wide problem. We have a certain supply for our trucks, but of course it is not infinite. That is why we are hoping for an early stabilisation of supply and also for a stabilisation of ABlue prices, which are now many times higher than a few months or weeks ago.

Are you planning any major investments in the fleet or greening next year?
Last year and this year we bought several dozen new tractors and we are planning further purchases for next year. All the vehicles we buy meet the latest regulations and standards and, in addition to reduced emissions, have significantly lower fuel consumption.

Do you perceive a tightening of supply and availability in the vehicle market due to insufficient production by carmakers?
This year, we planned to renew a significant part of our passenger vehicle fleet. However, due to production shortfalls, this replacement is proceeding much more slowly than we expected. Deliveries are completely outside the original plan, deadlines cannot be relied upon and are constantly changing. In addition, prices are rising significantly.

Do you have enough drivers?
The driver situation is still the same across Europe, meaning that there are not enough drivers. So far, we have managed to secure them for our vehicles, but it is not easy.

What kind of results do you expect this year and how has the pandemic affected them?
The first half of the year was great, now in the autumn we feel the overall slowdown of the economy. Many of our clients are complaining that they have nothing to sell or produce from even though the demand is there.  They're running out of goods on their way back from Asia.

Do you expect an improvement in 2022?
The outlook for 2022 is a bit of crystal ball gazing, but we want to be optimistic, even if the signals from many clients are not so optimistic. We have also seen some cooling in household consumption in recent weeks.


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