Calculating the impact of the Belgian road charge

On 1 April 2016 a kilometre-based charging system (‘kilometerheffing’) came into force on most motorways in Belgium along with a large number of regional roads in Flanders, Brussels and Wallonia. For shippers, logistics service providers and haulage companies alike, it is difficult to accurately estimate the impact of the charge on their transport costs, which is why Conundra has developed the OptiFlow route optimisation tool.

According to Conundra, shippers and logistics service providers are struggling to reach well-founded price agreements due to a lack of insight into the actual cost impact. As a result, both sides are increasingly afraid that they will end up footing the bill for the extra costs. Many companies are inclined to compensate for their uncertainty by passing on an average price increase. “That is definitely the wrong thing to do. The scope is far too wide to be able to rely on an average,” says Steven de Schrijver, CEO of Conundra.

Online tools

“To avoid complex recalculations and timeconsuming administrative work, companies should simulate the precise impact beforehand based on their actual freight flows. Online tools are popping up here and there that allow companies to simulate a few routes. The findings can be useful to provide an initial idea about a limited number of routes but they don’t give an exact insight into the entire operation flow. On such a limited set of routes, the cost impact can vary from two percent to as much as 12 percent,” explains De Schrijver.

Conundra intends to provide the answers with its OptiFlow route optimisation software. According to the vendor, the tool can process large amounts of data at high speed. It produces an accurate calculation of the cost price which enables users to gain sufficient insight to make wellfounded, data-driven decisions. Various companies including H. Essers, Recupel and AMP have already utilised the tool.