The kilometre tax threatens to wipe out small businesses

By: Thomas Ström 12/2/14

– it will hit the traders in rural areas the most

This week there is a convention for retail logistics at the Waterfront Congress Center in Stockholm. The upcoming kilometer tax will be a hot topic of debate.

I have in earlier posts cautioned for the unfair competition a kilometre tax can bring, when the chances are that only some vehicles (i.e. those with Swedish license plates) will be affected by this. If the tax was to be introduced, it is of utmost importance that all hauliers on Swedish roads pay the same amount.  

Another downside that the kilometre tax brings is higher prices. This is a business with already low margins. Higher fees for us mean higher fees for our customers. By extension, this means that the end-consumer’s price will be raised.

And the question is whether the traders will be able to sell their products when they are forced to raise their prices? It will hit the stores in rural areas the most, since they are increasingly dependent on longer transports. A kilometre tax will make it even more difficult to trade outside the large and medium-sized cities. The question is how many of the small business owners in rural areas that will have to shut down because of this?Clearly the competitiveness of the Swedish business sector is likely to deteriorate in a dramatic way. 

During the convention the new chairman of the Committee on transport and communication Karin Svensson Smith will debate against Joachim Glassell, the economic policy expert in the transportation and logistics issues of the Swedish Trade Federation. It will be exciting to see what they come up with. I am certain I will revisit this topic. 


Thomas Ström

Founder and CEO of NTEX