Europe's truck fleets are getting younger

Long-haul fleets in the European Union (EU) tend to be younger than short-haul vehicles and twice as efficient in international moves, according to five-year trends tracked by Eurostat (www.eurostat.com).

Though some data are incomplete, Eurostat has a full complement of figures on motor carriage trends in 14 of the 25 EU countries. Current statistics, through 2003, show vehicle fleets used for long-haul moves are younger than their local-delivery counterparts.

The tiny country of Luxembourg has the youngest fleets — 70.9% of vehicles are three years old or less. At the other end of the scale, Portugal has the greatest percentage of trucks that are seven to nine years old (20.4%).

German fleets rack up the greatest distances (27.9 billion vehicle kilometers) and a respectable 78% of that distance is under load. Denmark, with only 2.3 billion vehicle kilometers, has the lowest empty percent at 14.1%.

Germany is also at the top of the list for total transport with 290,750 million tonne-kilometers, followed by France at 203,595 million tonnekilometers. Over 22% of Germany's transport is on private fleets. France moves 16% on private fleets.

A higher percentage of goods move on private fleets within national borders than internationally. One-third of laden vehicle trips within EU countries' national borders are private fleet moves. That figure on international moves is 7%. Eurostat does not have full data for many of the countries that entered the EU last year. Prior to joining the EU, countries like the Czech

Republic, Lithuania and Latvia may have lagged the earlier EU members in their percentage of vehicles under three years old, but they often reported lower percentages of seven-to nineyearold vehicles as well. Portugal and Finland had a higher percentage of older vehicles than the Czech Republic.

Oldest motor carrier fleets in Europe

Youngest motor carrier fleets in Europe

(% of vehicles 7-9 years old)

(% of vehicles 3 years old or less)

Portugal 20.4 Luxembourg 70.9
Finland 16.4 Austria 57.8
Czech Republic 15.0 France 56.6
Sweden 14.7 Germany 55.1
Latvia 13.9 Ireland 53.9
U.K. 12.9 U.K 53.0
Spain 12.2 Denmark 52.8
Belgium 11.2 Sweden 43.8
Denmark 11.0 Belgium 42.9
Ireland 10.4 Spain 42.5
Source: Eurostat
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