Finnish haulage sector
Getting started in the haulage business
The Finnish haulage and logistics sector offers a diverse and challenging range of tasks to many types of professional, from truck drivers to logistics experts.
90% of goods in Finland are transported by road. Distances are long and the population is sparse, with the result that transportation kilometres per product are the highest in Europe. With no shortage of work in the haulage sector, the employment situation is good.
Haulage executed for payment is subject to licence and governed by the Act on Commercial Haulage of Goods by Road. Before they start operating a transportation business, drivers have to acquire a professional qualification and entrepreneurs must apply for an operating licence for each vehicle intended for commercial use.
To tackle the shortage of drivers, SKAL has established a recruitment bank in cooperation with driver training carried out by the the Finnish Defence Forces. Anyone qualified for the haulage profession is able to submit a job application to the recruitment bank, but only SKAL member enterprises can view the applications.
SKAL training and support for enterpreneurs
SKAL is a leading trainer of entrepreneurs and drivers in the road haulage and logistics sector, as well as the leading expert in applicable legislation and regulations, operational practice and technology. We make sure that the knowledge and skills of our entrepreneur members and their staff are fully up-to-date.
The operating licence
An operating licence is required when engaging in goods transportation for payment.
Commercial haulage is governed by the Act on Commercial Haulage of Goods by Road.
There are three types of operating licence:
- Community licence,
- Domestic operating licence, and
- Tractor Unit vehicle licence
Community licences and Tractor Unit vehicle licences are issued to new applicants. The domestic operating licence that was previously used is issued to current licence holders who are renewing their licence or expanding their fleet of vehicles.
A Community licence issued in Finland
A Community licence issued in Finland entitles the holder to engage in licensed goods haulage in Finland and abroad, but not in the Åland Islands. For internal haulage on the Åland Islands, an operating licence issued by the Government of Åland is required.
Domestic operating licence
A domestic operating licence entitles the holder to engage in licensed goods haulage in Finland, but not in the Åland Islands.
Section 7 of the Act on Commercial Haulage of Goods by Road exempts certain forms of goods transportation from licensing requirements. These include the transportation of loads using a vehicle or vehicle combination with a total weight not exceeding two tonnes.
Applying for a licence
Community licences, Domestic operating licences and Tractor Unit vehicle licences are issued by the Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (ELY Centres).
A written application must be submitted to the local ELY Centre administering the district in which the applicant is domiciled. Licences are issued for a five-year period and must be renewed before the expiration date.
Further information and application forms can be found at the website of the Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment
Application forms for goods haulage operating license (in Finnish):
An application for an operating licence must include a certified copy of a certificate showing that the applicant satisfies the vocational competence requirements (when applying for the first licence) and an original certificate proving adequate financial resources issued no earlier than three months before the application is lodged.
Conditions for getting an operating licence
Applicants for an operating licence must:
- be of good standing,
- have a certificate of vocational competence issued by the Finnish Transport Safety Agency, Trafi (previously the Finnish Vehicle Administration AKE) showing that he/she possesses the knowledge and skills required by the Professional Qualifications Directive,
- be legally competent, and
- be financially sound.
Amendment and renewal of an operating licence
The application procedure for amending or renewing an operating licence is identical to the procedure for obtaining a new licence.
Revocation of an operating licence
The licensing authority may revoke an operating licence, either indefinitely or for a defined period, if the licence holder no longer meets the requirements for having a licence, or if misconduct during haulage operations has occurred.
Instead of revoking a licence, the licence holder may be issued with a written caution if the infractions or offences are minor.
SKAL contributes to improvements in road safety in many different ways.
Our experts participate in working groups of public authorities that seek to improve the safety of heavy goods vehicles through technological solutions. Our representatives act as specialists in the Advisory Board on Road Accident Investigation and, on request, comment on traffic accident reports from the perspective of heavy goods vehicle traffic.
We follow reports by the Finnish Motor Insurers' Centre and our insurance company partners on a regular basis, as well as communication regarding road safety by the Ministry of Transport and Communications, the Finnish Transport Safety Agency Trafi, the traffic safety organisation Liikenneturva, and the National Traffic Police.
We provide comments for the media on road safety news related to heavy goods vehicles.
Peer support for drivers of heavy goods vehicles is an important part of SKAL’s road safety work. This service provides emotional support for drivers and entrepreneurs involved in traffic accidents. Other forms of help such as assistance with insurance arrangements are also available to entrepreneurs. We also participate in national road safety campaigns.
SKAL’s road safety work in a nutshell:
Commitment to promoting road safety
Collaboration with public authorities and organisations
Regular information services for member enterprises
Provision of training and educational materials and guidebooks
Safety training for members
Accession to the IRU Road Safety Charter 2005
Accession to the European Road Safety Charter 2006
Peer support for drivers of heavy goods vehicles
Support in crisis situations through “colleague help”
Finnish Transport and Logistics SKAL, together with Rahtarit, maintains a “colleague help” service for road haulage professional in crisis situations. Some 25 professional haulage entrepreneurs, drivers and officers form a network of helpers. Most of the helpers have been trained in offering mental support, however – they are not professional psychologists. The helpers are in it only for the sake of helping others; none of them receives any kind of compensation.
The service is in Finnish. The crisis can any form of mental distress related to the profession within road haulage. The distress can be related, for instance, to a traffic accident. Haulage entrepreneurs can also encounter financial difficulties in running the business.
How does “colleague help” work?
Call +358 20 345 888 – the phone call will be directed to the closest helper
Note! Help is offered in Finnish or Swedish only.
Energy and environment
Energy efficiency in transportation is now attracting a lot of attention. Environmentally-sound haulage and public transportation services require the use of low-emission vehicles and alternative fuels, among other things. The eco-driving training provided for drivers is also a measure of the environmental soundness of transportation.
The Energy Efficiency Agreement
The Energy Efficiency Agreement for Finland’s road haulage and logistics sector is an agreement between SKAL, the Association of Logistic Enterprises in Finland and the VR Group, and the Ministry of Transport and Communications, the Ministry of Employment and the Economy and the Ministry of Environment. The aim is to improve energy efficiency in the transportation sector.