Logistics for the Greek market is a relatively modern service industry. The provision of logistics services plays an important role in international entrepreneurship, while it is an important factor in attracting investment. It is practiced in areas where transport structures and businesses are being reshaped through transition to the new era and the new development model.
The term logistics comprises a number of features and activities. A full definition is given by R.H. Ballou (Business Logistics Management, 2nd edition, Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 1985), describing it as “the management of all transportation-storage operations, including ancillary activities when moving the product from the point of production to points of consumption”.
The development of the logistics service industry in Greece dates back to the early 1990s with EU Directive 92/106/EEC which allowed for the replacement of state bonded warehouses, resulting in forwarding companies exploiting premises temporarily used for storing Community goods, by providing storage and/or distribution services. A further significant step was the inclusion of logistics in the provisions of development law 3299/2004 which defined the specifications, terms and conditions for specialised investment projects in the provision of supply chain services.
The failure to develop combined transport in Greece has resulted in the movement of goods, mainly by road, but logistics is of strategic importance in the Greek economy. This is an area that has huge development potential, mainly due to the geographical position of the country.
Industry representatives have set the following priorities for the development of logistics in Greece.
– Provision for freight transport and logistics infrastructure and services in land planning
– Reform of the institutional framework and a reduction in red tape so as to eliminate administrative barriers.
– Better transparency in procedures, such as customs/customs clearance.
– Provision of incentives to attract investment and the use of specific freight transport modes.
– Description and definition of business activities related to logistics.
– Certification of the professional logistician, by designing the relevant vocational profile.
– Modernization of existing and targeted development of new infrastructure, aimed at reducing transportation costs and corresponding emissions.
– New partnerships and investments, both at national and international level, in order to form an effective distribution network.
The above priorities have been set to address a number of challenges, including:
– The right conditions for the development of an environment conducive to logistics services have not yet been created in Greece.
– Greece is a limited market in need of modernization. As previously mentioned, the road transport sector is particularly concentrated, the fleet is old and combined transport is non-existent.
– The absence of a reliable rail network is considered a serious negative factor.
– Forwarding is not provided for in Greek law.
– The lack of financial resources, transport infrastructure and real estate at affordable prices.
– Presence of resistance to a change of mentality in management.
Logistics services play an important role in the effectiveness of the distribution network, in the organisation of the supply chain and in the quality of life in the community. In conclusion, the most serious problem for the supply chain industry in Greece is that the country lags behind in terms of infrastructure and non-development of combined transport. The immediate goal therefore must be to promote Greece abroad, to generally support logistics services and encourage cross-border cooperation in order to have an increase in potential and hence in the revenue of the country.
The branches of law most closely associated with logistics businesses are as follows:
– the transport law. The logistics enterprise transports, mediates in the transport of goods by third parties and enters into contracts with carriers but also with its customers
– the law of leases relating to the logistics enterprise both from the standpoint of the lessee as well as of the lessor
– the labor law. The logistics business is not very different from an industrial enterprise as regards the complexity and variety of employment contracts with its staff.
– the tax law and especially the provisions related to the issue of tax documents and freight traffic
The branches of the law mentioned above are indicative only. Obviously, depending on the size and legal form in which the logistics company operates, all branches of the broader commercial law can be related to it to a greater or lesser extent.
Transport services market to be fully liberated
The Ministry of Development issues a series of measures for the full liberation of the provided transport services to the Ministry of Economics multi-bill, which is filed today to the plenary session of the Parliament. In particular, special regulations are issued regarding the leasing of trucks for road freight transport and the leasing of small, under 3.5 tons, trucks by companies and individuals. Also, the framework for the leasing of private cars with driver and the provision of hotel client transport services is formed.
Road freight transport
A series of limitations, provided by the legal framework regarding the lease of vehicles without driver for road freight transports, will be removed, such as: The transport company having to own at least one public use truck, in order to be able to lease another (truck),
The number of a company’s leased trucks, which should not exceed the double number of the company’s public use truck owners
The limitation of the non transport companies and professionals only being able to lease private use trucks of gross weight up to 6 tons, from other non transport companies and professionals.
Lease of small trucks
The limitations regarding the minimum lease period of small trucks up to 3.5 tons by companies and individuals are lifted. It is specified that by a 2011 Ministerial Decision the lease of trucks up to 3.5 tons by leasing companies is permitted. However, this regulation could not be applied because of a limitation specifying that there is a two years minimum lease period for companies and also for individuals.
Lease of private cars with driver
A regulation is issued, according to which tourist offices and car lease offices have the right to lease private cars with driver. This regards the total lease of the vehicle via reservation, by a corresponding contract, of a 12 hours minimum duration time. Also, the minimum qualifications met by the drivers, in order to engage in these services and also the relating vehicle characteristics are specified. The drivers must have a clear criminal record, valid driver’s license, which has to be in their possession for at least two years before the beginning of their employment and to have successfully completed a medical exam, similar to the one regarding the TAXI drivers.
The vehicles must be over 1.500 cc, to fall into the EURO V category or another posterior category, not to be over 7 years old and if they are open type vehicles not to be over 9 years old.
Finally, series of measures and penalties are posed corresponding to everything already applicable regarding car rental agencies, which lease cars without driver. In the case that such a leased car is found to be conducting private transports with charge then penalties are imposed to the legal representative of the company and the driver. These penalties are a 6 months imprisonment, a 3.000 euro fine, and a 2 years revocation of the vehicle’s registration document.
The main hotels have the ability either to use their own private cars or their leased cars, to transfer without charge their clients from the hotel to the entrance/exit and vice versa. It is noted that this shuttle service is already permitted by buses (namely vehicles with more than 10 seats).
Alongside, with the suggested regulation the right is given to companies and TAXI co-operations to sign contracts of full or partial lease of their cars with hotels, with charge. The charge will be determined by the contract between the TAXI Company and the hotel for the transfer of clients from the hotel to the entrance/exit and vice versa.
It is specified that these vehicles will be marked and possibly have other signs in order to be clear that they only conduct this specific service.