Works traffic

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Works transport or internal transport by industry and trade is road haulage carried out for its own purpose with trucks with a gross vehicle weight of more than 3.5 t controlled by its own staff . Such freight transport is usually only an auxiliary activity within the scope of its overall activity for the company carrying out the work. Works transport does not require a permit, but must be registered with the competent authority. There is no obligation to take out goods damage liability insurance.

Works transport is to be distinguished from forwarding business , the characteristics of which are the commercial or paid transport of goods. However, both modes of transport belong to commercial traffic .

Legal regulations


Traffic continues to § 1 para. 2 road transport law (GüKG) the carriage of goods for their own purposes, the delivery of goods to the company, its shipment from the company or their movement within or - is used outside the company, and only an ancillary activity in - for own consumption Represents the framework of the company's entire activity. The vehicles used for transportation must be driven by the company's own staff or by staff made available to the company under a contractual obligation. The provisions on works traffic are also subject to the transport by commercial agents, brokers and commissioners, insofar as their business activity relates to their own goods and a motor vehicle with up to 3.5 tons including a trailer is used.

The so-called group works traffic, i.e. the transport for parent, sister or subsidiary companies, is not company traffic in the legal sense.

Works traffic does not require a permit and there is no compulsory insurance ( § 9 GüKG). However, the commencement of works traffic must be reported to the Federal Office for Goods Transport, where a register is kept ( Section 15a (2) GüKG). It is permissible to carry out commercial freight transport in addition to works transport as a mixed operation, provided that the necessary prerequisites (reliability, financial capacity and professional suitability according to § 3 GüKG) are present.

Neither the provisions of works traffic nor goods traffic are subject to occasional, non-commercial transport of goods by associations for their members or transport for non-profit purposes or those by the public sector in the context of their public tasks or transport of damaged or repaired vehicles for reasons of traffic safety or for Purposes of repatriation. The same applies to agricultural transports and certain food transports. ( § 2 GüKG)


For Austria , the term works transport is defined in Section 10 of the Goods Transport Act (GütbefG). In terms of content, the definition essentially corresponds to the definition presented for Germany. Works transport is exempt from the license obligation that otherwise applies to goods transport by motor vehicles ( § 4 Z 3 GütbefG). In the case of vehicles with a total weight of over 3.5 t, this may only be carried out if it is entered in the registration certificate that the vehicle is intended for use in works traffic ( § 11 Z 1 GütbefG).

Factory and long-distance transport

The earlier (until 1998) distinction between local and long-distance traffic is no longer legally relevant and therefore obsolete.


The distinction between works traffic and commercial goods traffic goes back to the Third Ordinance of the Reich President to secure the economy and finances and to combat political riots of October 6, 1931. This was enshrined in the "Law on Overland Traffic with Motor Vehicles", which came into force in October 1931 through an emergency ordinance. In this emergency ordinance from Brüning, a license obligation ( concession ) for road freight traffic was introduced for the first time , from which factory traffic was excluded.

During the time of National Socialism there was a compulsory cartelization of long-distance freight transport (from 50 km) in the Reichskraftwagenbetriebsverband, a professional organization under public law for entrepreneurs in private long-distance freight transport with motor vehicles. This organization also included long-distance works traffic.

In the post-war period, the legal situation of the inter-war period was initially followed up. The Road Freight Transport Act of October 17, 1952 placed the licensing and allocation of quotas for long-distance commercial freight transport on a new legal basis. In addition, tariffs ( RKT ) and conditions of carriage were determined by an ordinance. Factory traffic was again excluded from these regulations. In long-distance works transport, the transports had to be entered in a travel record book and an accompanying document had to be carried. However, a special tax of 3 to 5 Pf / tkm was imposed on long-distance works traffic, i.e. works traffic outside the local zone of 50 km from the location. In 1967 a transport tax on trucks and on company traffic was introduced. For a long time it was a declared transport policy goal to protect the Federal Railroad at the expense of road freight traffic. Nonetheless, company traffic grew rapidly and disproportionately.

In 1994 the state-regulated tariffs for commercial road freight transport were abolished, four years later its licensing and allocation of quotas were abandoned. Although it was expected that company traffic would decrease significantly after this liberalization of commercial traffic, the number of companies operating company traffic decreased by only 6.4 percent by 1996.

The transport policy had repeatedly argued against company transport that it used its capacities less than commercial transport because of the empty return journeys from customers. Also, because of the unfavorable use of capacity, the costs per tonne-kilometer for works transport are higher than for commercial transport. However, this was also wanted by transport policy and cannot be brought forward against works traffic. Factory traffic was excluded from the liberalization of commercial road freight transport in the 1990s. There was no liberalization of factory traffic. The regulations of the old traffic law of 1935 (from the Nazi era) remained in force. According to Section 1, Paragraph 2 of the GüKG, works transport is understood to mean the transport of goods for a company's own purposes. Works traffic may only be carried out with our own drivers and is used for procurement or distribution logistics for industrial companies as well as trading houses. This means: - In particular, no transports between companies in a group.

- In particular, no rented trucks with drivers, unlike wet leasing in aviation and charter shipping companies.

- In particular, no return of freight on return from the customer.

In the liberalization debates in the German parliament in the 1990s, the date July 1, 2001 was given when the liberalization of works traffic should be examined. But this did not happen. Factory traffic is organized differently in Europe. In France rented trucks with drivers are possible.

Corporate structures and markets

According to the BAG , 30,244 companies operated long-distance traffic in Germany in 1996 . The companies came primarily from the trade, construction and manufacturing sectors. In 1996, the long-distance transport companies employed almost 240,000 people. Around two thirds of the companies had up to five employees, and one fifth of the companies had more than nine employees. 26% of the companies only had one truck, 12% had more than ten trucks.

In 1997 about 39% of goods were transported by company traffic in long-distance transport, while in local goods transport 51%. Two thirds of the companies that operated company transport also carried out commercial freight transport. Since the removal of the connection to transport tariffs in 1994, 20% of the companies with company transport had shifted their transport to commercial transport.

The official statistics for 2007 show a third more companies than 1998 that operated company transport (40,000). At the same time, the number of drivers employed there fell by more than an eighth to 211,000.

In Austria , their trucks transported a total of 297 million tons of goods in 2003. H. 4% more than the year before. 57% of this was accounted for by vehicles used in commercial freight transport and 43% by works transport. A little more than four million tons (2%) accounted for own transport in Austrian transit traffic by truck. This emerges from a publication by Statistics Austria .

Despite the unfavorable capacity and cost aspects, many companies in production and trade stick to factory traffic. Because these aspects are just two factors, among others, that control the use of trucks in company transport from an economic point of view: A survey by the Federal Association of Economy, Transport and Logistics (BWVL) among 81 companies in 2015 showed that 75% of the companies surveyed hold on to company transport and do not want to give their logistics out of hand by outsourcing them. They retain their strategic and operational influence through investments or the establishment of their own companies for the company fleet. The companies give various reasons for continuing their works transport, such as:

• Involving a forwarding agent is time-consuming. Therefore, the constant availability of your own vehicles lowers the transaction costs compared to the involvement of a forwarding agency.

• The constant availability of your own vehicles is important for the urgent delivery of orders that are completed late in the evening or for the procurement of urgently needed operational goods.

• Special equipment for trucks.

• Individual customer care and customer advice.

• Experienced drivers who are familiar with the local conditions at the customer's premises instead of constantly changing drivers from haulage companies. Experience with loading special goods, such as B. furniture and wine consignments are put forward as an advantage of works traffic.

• Higher quality of service provision, since in-house drivers identify with the company and work more carefully. In the case of forwarding companies, the quality of the service provision decreases, as less motivated drivers are also used by subcontractors who have to work under time pressure and are only poorly paid.

• The communication of the company logo on the truck. This is an important marketing measure that makes the company known in urban traffic.

• The maintenance of the business relationship and customer advice by our own drivers, building of mutual trust between customers and drivers.

These arguments show the importance of factory traffic for customer contact. Conversely, if the transports are outsourced to a forwarding company, there is a risk that customer contact is reduced and that the forwarding company receives know-how in a special business area and could therefore offer customers other suppliers. The outsourcing of company transport to the forwarding agents often fails due to the demands of the shippers to take over their vehicle fleet and their employees. The latter is usually problematic because in the commercial transport sector the wage level is lower, the social benefits are lower and the working time regulations are less favorable than in works transport.

Some companies have such a large transport volume that handing over the transport to a forwarding agent is not even possible, as no forwarding agent can offer this volume. The following examples should be mentioned:

• The Kempen sales center, which as a wholesaler with over 100 trucks supplies the Lidl outlets nationwide with fresh vegetables every day.

• Metro Logistics Düsseldorf supplies 1,000 Metro outlets with goods from more than 4,000 suppliers.

• The Oettinger Brewery, which has settled in the low-price segment of breweries and with a fleet of more than 200 trucks from the three East German and the two West German brewery locations in Mönchengladbach and Oettingen delivers the beer directly to 10,000 wholesale markets, supermarkets, petrol stations and beverage markets .

• The Nobilia kitchen factory, which produces 2,700 customer-specific kitchens every day at the Verl site near Gütersloh and of which 85% delivers to dealers nationwide with 150 trucks in long-distance transport.

• The chipboard manufacturer Pfleiderer in Neumarkt / Upper Palatinate sells its products with its own forwarding agent JURA, which handles 500 transports a day.

The examples of Oettinger, Nobilia and JURA show the close connection between production and sales, which would be interrupted by engaging a third-party shipping company. This connection is particularly close at Nobilia, as production planning and route planning are interlinked. The kitchens, which can be set down on a tour, are jointly planned for production, produced and loaded onto a truck.


For companies, the question arises as to whether they want to (continue to) carry out the transport of goods themselves within the framework of works transport or whether they want to commission a commercial transporter to do this (outsourcing). One variant of outsourcing is to set up a subsidiary yourself and have it carry out the transport. Ultimately, companies can also run a mixed operation on their own, i.e. carry out both works and commercial goods transport for third parties.

Works traffic has the advantage for companies that the vehicle fleet is always fully available to the company and can therefore be scheduled at any time and at short notice. For example, it is important for a construction company that building rubble can be removed quickly and without great effort, because otherwise the work on the construction site would not be able to proceed. For other companies it is important that the return of empties or the use of special vehicles is guaranteed at all times.

For many trading companies, the decisive reason to maintain factory traffic is that the customer can be guaranteed better service and often more punctuality with their own vehicles and staff. In addition, this often brings a significant boost to your image.

The main disadvantage of works traffic is that many empty trips are necessary. The cost aspect, however, is assessed differently: Depending on the company structure and the transport needs, either company transport or shifting to commercial freight transport can be cheaper.

If the transport of goods is outsourced to a separate transport company, it is no longer a matter of works transport. This model can, however, be suitable for maintaining the advantages of works traffic, especially the availability at all times, and at the same time avoiding the disadvantages. This means that your own transport company can also carry out commercial goods transport for third parties. This means that vehicles and staff can be used more effectively and empty trips can also be reduced.

Especially on the part of the workforce is in Germany and Austria Outsourcing often rejected because the pay and rights of drivers after the respective tariff or collective agreement directed the industry, which is subject to the company, and is provided in these contracts usually higher pay than in the transport industry.

Driver in company traffic

Companies with works traffic expect their drivers to be able to drive professionally (safe and economical driving style). In addition, the driver must have knowledge of the goods being transported and ensure that the goods are handled with care. In addition to driving the vehicle, the tasks of the driver in works transport include, in particular, loading and unloading the vehicle, good, gentle load securing , truck care and maintenance , and general internal activities. Because of the mostly short transport distance, the transports in works transport - in contrast to commercial transport - are mostly day trips. The better earning opportunities, regular working hours during the day, as well as the comprehensive social benefits from the companies with works transport are interesting for the driver.


  1. Freight Transport Act, Section 1, Paragraph 2
  2. Freight Transport Act of June 22, 1998 ( Federal Law Gazette I p. 1485 ) in the version of June 21, 2005 ( Federal Law Gazette I p. 1666 )
  3. Info from WKO  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Toter Link /  
  4. "Law on overland traffic with motor vehicles", also known as the "Schenker contract"
  5. ^ Richard Vahrenkamp: The logistic revolution - The rise of logistics in the mass consumer society, Campus Verlag, Frankfurt 2011.
  6. The taxation of long-distance works traffic was considered constitutional by the Federal Constitutional Court, BVerfG of May 22, 1963 - 1 BvR 78/56 -, BVerfGE 16, 147. However, since the court considered the harsh taxation of long-distance works traffic to be at the limit of what is constitutionally permissible, the legislature lowered the tax to 3 Pf / tkm following the judgment
  7. so-called "Leber-Pfennig", named after the transport minister at the time, Georg Leber
  8. Herbert Kotzab and Richard Vahrenkamp, ​​Logistikwissen compact, Munich 2016
  9. Bundestag printed paper 13/10037
  10. Federal Office for Goods Transport, Market Monitoring Special Report Factory Transport  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , August 1998@1@ 2Template: Toter Link /  
  11. ^ Federal Office for Goods Transport: Structure of the companies involved in commercial road haulage and works transport, Volume USTAT 14, Cologne 2009
  12. BAG - Market Monitoring Master Plan Freight Transport and Logistics 2009  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (see at the end of page 36)@1@ 2Template: Toter Link /  
  13. Harald Gleissner and Richard Vahrenkamp: Der Werkverkehr als Marketing-Instrument, in: Deutsche Logistik Zeitung (DVZ) on February 21, 2017
  14. The circumstances that are considered advantageous by companies and thus speak in favor of maintaining works traffic are taken from the special report on works traffic of the Federal Office for Goods Transport, in particular section 3.4.2, Federal Office for Goods Transport August 1998.


  • 40 years of transport policy , Lorenz Sönnichen - BMV -

See also

Web links