Transport of goods by lorry

What is haulage ?

is a land transport service. It involves transporting goods by lorry.

At various levels of intervention, several trades are involved in the management of operations:

  • teamsters or delivery drivers for driving transport vehicles (lorries, towing vehicles and trailers) ;
  • forklift operators for loading and unloading goods in the warehouse or at the distributor's site ;
  • managers or supervisors to organise the work of drivers and vehicle management to achieve customer satisfaction ;
  • mechanics, workshop managers and fleet managers for the maintenance and repair of road vehicles, etc.

The characteristics of haulage

A highly regulated technical activity, is the business of professional carriers.

To provide road transport and operations in France, a company must be registered on the hauliers register managed by the Regional Directorate for Environment, Planning and Housing (DREAL).

Initially, the company must prove compliance with 4 basic conditions:

  • the transport manager appointed by the company holds a certificate of professional competence ;
  • the company can prove a financial capacity set at 9,000 euros for the 1st vehicle and 5,000 euros for subsequent vehicles ;
  • the company's registered office is in France ;
  • the company's manager or the transport manager is not affected by any disqualification and has not committed any crimes, notably those related to road safety.

Examples and application

A activity may be carried out:

  • for oneself: this is case for a company with its own lorries to transport its goods ;
  • for someone else: this is the case for a specialist transport company offering transport services to its customers who entrust this task to said company.

The transport provider is then known as a : they are responsible for the continuity of the transport of goods and for carrying out any required formalities, such as formalities.

They are appointed by a principal known as a shipper who may be the sender or the recipient of the goods.

In some cases, it is a or proxy who delegates the goods transport operations in exchange for a commission. Shippers can also order their services through a freight exchange within which carriers offer their services.

Haulage in figures

In France and in Europe, represents a significant proportion of .

Freight road transport represented 89% of the land transport of goods in 2019 as against 9% for rail transport and 2% for river transport. Which represented a total of 322.3 billion tonne-kilometres in 2019.

Source: Key transport figures 2021 (May 2021) Ministry of the Ecological Transition.

Regulatory framework

is a highly regulated professional activity.

It calls for compliance with various legal requirements relating to driving time, conditions specific to the conservation of fresh or frozen products and the transport of dangerous goods, rules for securing heavy loads, etc.

Conditions for accessing the road profession are defined in what is known as the "Road Package" (European regulations 1071/2009 and 1072/2009) and the Transport code > REGULATORY SECTION (Articles D1112-1 to R5795-4) > FIRST SECTION: COMMON PROVISIONS (Articles D1112-1 to R1892-4) > BOOK IV: CONDITIONS FOR ACCESSING THE TRANSPORT PROFESSION (Articles R1411-1 to Annex to article D1432-3)

Driving, break and rest times to be respected by drivers of vehicles over 3.5 tonnes are set by European social regulation no. 561/2006 of 15 March 2006.