Travel in the Schengen Zone usually means that there are no border checks, but in recent days country after country has imposed checks on its frontiers. The Belgian transport federation says goods lorries too are being checked and are ending up in jams at the border.
The organisation points to an appeal for goods to travel freely made earlier by the European commission.
Febetra’s Isabelle De Maegt says that red tape and formalities at the border are slowing down goods transports: “In France drivers need a special permit for professional journeys. The permit changed three times in just a week. It started with one permit for everybody. Now there are separate permits for lorry drivers and ordinary citizens. Employers need to provide drivers with the permit.”
Up to 25% of employees in the freight transport business are currently laid off on a temporary basis. Lorry drivers transporting food and chemicals are still at work, but many stores and factories have closed and they are not being supplied.