Cabotagestudien - A study on trucking deregulation and cabotage in Scandinavia and beyond

Research output: Book/ReportReport


An open European market for goods and services, including transport services, stimulates trade, global competitiveness and economic growth. At the same time, concerns about domestic job security, regulation compliance and the environment have sparked a debate. This report should be considered one of the first modest contributions to the mainly unexplored area of European freight deregulation. Our contribution is a review of previous research, a snapshot of the movement patterns of the foreign trucks on Scandinavian roads, statistical analyses and case investigations. Parts of the data collection presented in this report are based on an innovative smartphone app for counting trucks that registers vehicle movements with the assistance of 8 000 volunteers. Given the novelty of the methods employed one must keep in mind the underlying assumptions stated in the report when interpreting the results.

Our study offers the following indications:
1) Denmark, Norway and Sweden are three different markets, with significant differences in terms of how cabotage and combined transportation are carried out.
2) The actors in the market are very flexible and are adapting their businesses according to the possibilities the current road freight regulations offer. The Cabotage Directive may have been introduced as a way to increase fill rate, but is in practice viewed as a tool for gaining access to low-cost drivers on Scandinavian roads.
3) The data for Sweden indicate that there are legal infringements of the cabotage rules, which means that trucks make more than 3 trips and/or stay longer than 7 days. There are also indications of frequent violations of tax rules regarding posted workers.
4) The data collected can be used to complement the Eurostat cabotage statistics, particularly since many of the most frequently occurring truck nationalities are not represented in Eurostat.

In addition to the indications outlined, our data also provide a rich picture of Bulgarian hauliers in Scandinavia.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Other Mechanical Engineering


  • European trucking deregulation, transport efficiency, intermodal transportation, cabotage, sustainable transportation
Original languageEnglish
PublisherLund University
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Publication categoryResearch