Truckers look to state for protection

  • 2009-09-17
  • From wire reports
TALLINN - The Estonian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications received a letter from a group of trucking companies requesting help concerning Latvian competitors they claim are pushing themselves onto the Estonian market, reports news agency LETA. According to the Estonian carriers, Latvian lorries are currently working on two road construction projects in the Virumaa region 's on the Sonda-Kivioli road and on the Kunda-Podruse road. Both projects are using a couple of Latvian lorries and in the next few weeks, up to 20 more are expected to join.

"The carriers pointed it out to the ministry that foreign lorries are working on a road construction project and asked us to investigate on what basis are they providing services here, and if everything is correct and in compliance with the standards," explained head of transportation and traffic at the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, Priit Vene. He said that the ministry will send supervisory personnel to the site to investigate.

A manager of one transport company said that the services provided by the Latvian carriers are nearly 15 percent cheaper than the prices asked by local carriers. The Latvian lorries carry their own fuel from Latvia.

CEO of Nordecon International AS Jaano Vink confirmed that Nordecon works with a Latvian company, which approached Nordecon, then participated in the procurement for sub-contracting, and got some of the work. "We currently have sub-contracting agreements with more than ten Estonian transport companies, therefore it is no wonder that a Latvian carrier is working here as well; after all, Estonians are also trying to do business in Latvia," he added.

Vink said that for the construction business, it doesn't matter from which country a company comes from, as long as it is competent, complies with the procurement terms, offers competitive prices and fulfills the contract correctly. "Thus far we are satisfied with the Latvian company and if the price would be by 15 percent lower, as claimed, there would not be only one Latvian enterprise, but the ratio with the Estonian companies would be the opposite," he remarked, adding that the terms applied to the Latvian sub-contractor are exactly the same as those applied to Estonian partners.