Restrictions to Ground Transportation in Brazilian Cities
Changes in the Brazilian logistic system has created restricted areas and several prohibitions that are affecting companies, industries, and consumers.
Understanding the Problem
Ground transportation - particularly trucks - are being targeted by restriction measures in many different cities in the country. São Paulo, Cuiabá, Fortaleza and Belém do Pará are some good examples of cities that are adapting themselves and adopting such restrictions.
The government has established a war against industries and transportation, distribution and construction companies that use trucks. Facing difficulties regarding security and new costs, these companies are complaining about the changes. On the other hand, the government is trying to solve issues related to traffic, noise and pollution, as an attempt to improve the population quality of life.
What are the changes?
The ZMRC, short for Zona de Máxima Restrição de Circulação (Restricted Circulation Zone), are the places where trucks can only circulate in certain time of the day. Nowadays trucks can only circulate from 9:00pm to 5:00am, with the exceptions of VUCs, which are smaller trucks, allowed to circulate within the city limits in a different time.
VUCs are allowed to circulate in restricted zones in specific days, according to the Rodízio, which is a rule establishing that trucks can only circulate according to their registration plate: if it ends with even numbers can circulate on even days; with odd numbers, they can only circulate in odd days, with the exception of Mondays, which is the only day when every truck can circulate, regardless on their registration plate.
There are exceptions about the ZMRC, some trucks are allowed to enter the restricted zones using special permits, such as those carrying perishable items.
Why is this a problem to the logistic system ?
According to companies that tried to adapt their logistics systems to the night shift in order to follow the new rules, it is not safe to work at night. The policing is not good enough and it is always a risk to transport goods at night.
Will the establishments that rely on trucks operate at night only to receive their goods ? It is difficult, not only due to the security problem, but some places such as restaurants and Bars have more customers at night and receiving products at the same time could cause losses or generate more expenses, as it would be necessary to have an specific staff only to handle these matters.
Realizing that working at night would not be a good solution to the new rules, companies started buying VUCs, which are smaller than common trucks, leading distribution companies to use more trucks on the streets. Instead of using one vehicle, companies are working with two or three more at the same time.
The problem with VUCs nowadays is that due to the new rules their prices are overestimated, increasing the prices for logistics services, resulting on more expensive products to the end users.
Why this is good to the government ?
According to researches made by the government, even if companies start putting more vehicles on the streets, the trucks restrictions could help the traffic issue, but this is not what we see in cities like São Paulo, for example. The pollution problem is also something that the government points out as the reason why the restrictions, are considerable. It is plausible, as there are many trucks using diesel as fuel, what is a very powerful pollutant.
Noise is a point that is absolutely notable about restrictions, trucks do make noise wherever they are. But it is important to say that some restrictions help on new smaller truck sales, and it helps the government too.
All we can see is a war between the government and the logistic sector, something that only bring losses to the population, as it directly affects the price of goods.