The truckers’ strike brought changes in prices charged at tolls across Brazil. Since May 31, truck drivers have stopped paying tolls on the suspended axles of empty trucks. The exemption has been practiced on all toll roads in the country.
With the end of the charge on suspended axles, there was a significant cost reduction for truck drivers, since tolls represent about 15% of the value of freight. The seven-axle truck (14 wheels), for example, the most used in the country, can suspend three axles when empty, which means a 43% reduction in the toll.
Understand how the change affects the dealerships
In 2015, after pressure from truck drivers, the government had allowed exemption from charging on the suspended axis on federal and state highways. However, the states continued to charge the fee for the highways under their concession.
With the prohibition of charging in May, the concessionaires had a loss of profitability, and now they claim that there is an economic imbalance in the contracts with the government. According to analysts, the exemption of the tariff on the suspended axle is problematic, since the toll systems on the highways cannot detect whether the truck is full or empty, as all are sealed.
In São Paulo, the end of charging for suspended axles meant a drop of around R $ 50 million per month in the collection of the concessionaires that manage the highways. The state government now wants the federal government to take responsibility and write off that amount of São Paulo’s debt to the Treasury. Analysts warn that the change, however, could lead to an increase in tariffs for other users of privatized state highways.
Follow the increase in the price of tolls in São Paulo
Since July, tolls in São Paulo have had toll prices increased for all cars at 19 dealerships in the state. The concessionaires claim that the price increase is due to the IPC-A accumulated between June of last year and May of that year, of 2.85%.
The readjustment reaches up to R $ 0.30 in some tolls. The most expensive tolls in São Paulo now are the Anchieta highway, in Riacho Grande, and the Imigrantes highway, in Paraitinga, which now cost R $ 26.20. See the full table of adjustments in São Paulo here.
See how the changes have been working in practice
In addition, the temporary reduction of R $ 0.46 in the liter of diesel, another achievement achieved by truck drivers with the strike, has not yet been fully reversed in reducing the cost of diesel at the service stations. A provisional measure was published to define the rules for lowering prices, and a task force formed by Procons and other government agencies was created to check whether the posts are fulfilling what was determined.
However, until July, the value of diesel had dropped only R $ 0.22 (from R $ 3.60 to R $ 3.38). In the two months after the strike, Procon of São Paulo received more than 2,000 complaints against the prices charged in São Paulo.
Another problem is that the price list for freight, another achievement of the strike, appears in different versions, which has been causing discontent among drivers. The table, which increases the value of freight, has been little followed in practice, and the lack of consensus on the price ends up hurting truck drivers.
As we have seen, the truckers ‘strike brought some immediate results, but a lot can still be done to improve the truckers’ working conditions.
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