More precisely, at the end of 2021, based on the data from the last available annual financial reports, there were liquid 2,617 micro-enterprises operating in this activity in our country.
The competition is therefore more than great. If we add to that the pressure of fuel and service prices, constant multi-year problems with delays at the borders for those companies that offer cross-border transport, and the increasing deficit of professional drivers – it is practically a miracle how so many legal entities successfully resist the aforementioned challenges.
According to the data of the credit rating company CompanyWall, the most successful 99 micro-enterprises in this industry generated 9.08 billion dinars in revenue in 2021, and in the first place according to this criterion was the company Prima trgovina 2000 from Belgrade, with 419.48 million dinars in revenue.
When it came to the business results, that is, the gross difference between income and expenses at the end of the year, the champion in that period was Inter Cargo Plus from Sremska Mitrovica, with 59.78 million dinars.
The first year of the pandemic resulted in weaker results for everyone on the market, commented Monika Rakoš, director of the Trešnjevac company Euro-bilans doo, for Biznis.rs. The next year, 2021, still brought the expected recovery.
This company was founded in 1995, and its director points out that since then a tradition of quality relations with clients has been built, which is why many of them have become permanent partners. During 2021, Euro-balance achieved a 28 percent increase in revenue, to 82.14 million dinars.
However, the fact that Euro-Bilans headquarters is practically a stone’s throw from the Serbian-Hungarian border did not help much in solving one of the burning problems of domestic carriers.
“The situation at the borders has not been good for years, and we have repeatedly pointed out this problem to the appropriate professional associations. We sent videos, addressed the media, local politicians, not only me but also colleagues from other companies. Our position is that border crossings should not be expanded, but paperwork should be reduced when crossing,” comments our interlocutor, and recalls that on one occasion a truck from her company waited to cross the border for an incredible 36 hours, while 10-12 hours is currently the average standing time.
At the same time, the problem of labor shortage – evident throughout Europe and beyond – does not find the right answer in the Serbian labor market and existing legislative frameworks.
“Licensing for professional drivers is too expensive. For example, in Hungary the renewal of a license costs 180 euros, and in our country for the same period it costs around 500 euros”, explains Rakos.
Additionally, most often potential drivers ask transport companies to pay for their additional professional training, as it is too expensive for them. “Then we are surprised that there are not enough drivers, or that the few that are left go to seek their fortune abroad”, concludes Rakos.