Andreas Scheuer, Federal Minister of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, said:
Our HGV drivers have a really tough job to do every day: Despite the corona crisis, they are tirelessly travelling the country to sustain the transport of goods. Therefore, it is even more important that they themselves are well cared for – with food, toilets and showers. However, this is not the case everywhere: At some ramps they are not treated with the respect they deserve. They are not allowed to leave their trucks or to wash hands. This is not acceptable to me. With the #LogistikHilft initiative we want to start uncovering deficiencies and address them unbureaucratically. This is about solidarity. I would like to bring those companies that need assistance together with those that have come to a standstill due to the corona crisis. Companies that would usually supply fairs, trade fairs, concerts or constructions sites with sanitary facilities, could set up their containers where they are currently needed. Both sides would benefit from this. Therefore, I would like to appeal to all companies: Get involved! We as the Federation will support this measure by setting up shower containers at heavily used rest areas without services to complement the existing toilets. We are starting with the first one today.
Steffen Bilger, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure and Federal Government Coordinator for Freight Transport and Logistics, said:
Together with the Federal Road Haulage, Logistics and Disposal Association (BGL) and DocStop we will start with the first project of #LogistikHilft, namely to organize the purchase and set up of containers with showers and toilets for HGV drivers. We are hoping to get maximum support from all players of the logistics sector for this project as well as from providers and consumers of all logistics services. Apart from that, I can only encourage all HGV drivers to report any shortcomings concerning the hygienic conditions to the associations and to the Ministry. Your efforts will not be in vane! Together, we will make sure that the situation will improve noticeably and sustainably.
Dirk Engelhardt, Speaker of the Board of the Federal Road Haulage, Logistics and Disposal Association (BGL), said:
The medium-sized hauliers and the HGV drivers employed there are working every day to ensure that our society is supplied with goods. For this purpose, it is necessary that HGV drivers themselves are also well cared for. Above all, they need unrestricted access to sanitary facilities. Since, unfortunately, this is not the case everywhere, we would like to provide short-term and unbureaucratic assistance with the joint #LogistikHilft initiative and many supporters from the sector.
For the peak of the corona crisis, the #LogistikHilft initiative will immediately set up containers with showers and toilets in places where currently no washing facilities are available. Face masks, soap, shower gels and disinfectants are to be procured as well.
So far, a number of locations have been identified where HGV drivers require access to sanitary facilities – such as loading and unloading points, logistics centres, container terminals and transhipment terminals as well as rest areas without services along federal trunk roads. While the immediate action is ongoing, the affected companies have time to find a long-term solution, e.g. by means of modifications or permanent rental of the sanitary containers.
On 16 April 2020, the first container was set up in front of the Großbeeren freight village in Brandenburg.
At the same time, the #LogistikHilft initiative urges the logistics sector to make optimum use of existing resources and to ensure access to sanitary facilities at all loading and unloading points. SaniStop, the hygiene action of the “DocStop für Europäer” (DocStop for Europeans) association will display the reported locations on a map on their website.
About the #LogistikHilft initiative:
#LogistikHilft is a joint initiative of the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, the Federal Road Haulage, Logistics and Disposal Association (BGL), the Logistics Alliance Germany (LAG), the Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics (IML) and “DocStop für Europäer”. The non-profit society “DocStop für Europäer e.V.” intends to improve the medical treatment of coach and HGV drivers along the routes of the Trans-European Transport Network.
The patrons of the #LogistikHilft initiative are Federal Minister Andreas Scheuer and the Federal Government Coordinator for Freight Transport and Logistics, Parliamentary State Secretary Steffen Bilger.
The objective of the initiative is to create fair and appropriate working conditions for all those that ensure the supply with goods in Germany by doing their work in the transport and logistics sector. Not only in times of the corona crisis, but also on a long-term basis, in particular, with regard to HGV drivers. Trade, industry and logistics as well as operators of parking spaces, rest areas and truckstops will be involved among others.
The initiative will be financed with cash and in-kind donations. A board of trustees will decide on the use of the funds and monitor whether they are used for their intended purpose. It will be chaired by the Parliamentary State Secretary Steffen Bilger and comprise representatives of the BGL and initial supporters.
Other BMVI activities to improve the situation of HGV drivers
The BMVI is currently working intensively on ensuring a stable supply of basic goods and services. Especially in times of crisis, we can see how important the freight transport and logistics industry is for Germany. Therefore, the BMVI is keeping a close eye on the situation of the HGV drivers - be it at rest areas, truck stops or logistics centres. The principle is clear: Only if drivers are well rested and well cared for, can they continue their journey healthily, safely and refreshed.
In order to achieve this objective, the BMVI is engaging in talks with many players. In March, the Ministry asked the federal states to keep the toilet facilities at rest areas without services - within their areas of responsibility - open every day on a 24-hour basis and increase the cleaning intervals if necessary. In addition, many federal states have taken their own initiatives to improve the situation of HGV drivers.
Federal Minister Andreas Scheuer is also constantly in contact with the private operators of the rest areas with services. Therefore, since 17 March 2020, the sanitary facilities of SANIFAIR have been accessible to travellers free of charge to make sure they can wash hands and allow for more hygiene. The shower facilities for long-distance HGV drivers are also accessible for everybody. In addition, the “Tank & Rast” operator has increased the number of warm meals available for take-away and established a nationwide hotline for HGV drivers (“Brummi-Hotline”). 0800 9 555 777.
The BMVI is also in contact with the Association of German Truck Stops (VEDA) to support operators of truckstops in providing HGV drivers with the necessary goods and services.
The supply with goods and services must not only be ensured during the drivers’ journeys but also at their points of origin and destination. At some loading and unloading points as well as logistics centres, the drivers have no access to sanitary facilities. This is where the #LogistikHilft initiative provides assistance (as described under “Immediate action”).
The #LogistikHilft initiative is supplemented by an immediate action of the Federation: At rest areas without services along federal trunk roads that are particularly heavily used, the BMVI will set up shower containers in addition to the available toilets for a duration of 2 months. In a first step, around 20 PWC facilities with a high parking capacity for HGVs were chosen.
The first pilot facilities were installed on 16 April 2020 at the PWC facility in Höllberg Nord at the A8 motorway between Stuttgart and Pforzheim in Baden-Württemberg in the presence of Steffen Bilger, the Parliamentary State Secretary and Federal Government Coordinator for Freight Transport. The lessons learned at this facility are to be collected for the nationwide roll-out.
Bank account for donations:
Recipient: DocStop e.V.
IBAN: DE80 4035 1060 0073 1743 44
Reason for Payment: LogistikHilft
Federal Minister Scheuer said:
HGV drivers, you are doing a fantastic job! I would like to THANK YOU for your hard work. You are ensuring a stable supply of basic goods and services for us all.