Cabotage is the freedom to hawk your trade on someone else's turf, A UK haulier has to have an Operators Licence and be subject to a bucketload of regulation. Cabotage is when a truck comes into UK with a load of Spanish tomatoes then instead of driving back again, possibly with a load, instead trolls around UK moving UK loads from place to place. Previously they were limited to three of those jobs in a week, then as part of brexit that went down to 2 (cue bedwetting from countless remoaners).
Conversation with my man in DHL. No-one knows where this latest bright idea came from. Uptake will be slim to nil in his view, JIT flows in both directions, thus a truckload of parts coming in for Jaguars heads straight back with a load of parts for landrover production in Hungary or whatever.
Another snippet from someone who knows what he is talking about. Felixstowe is clogged up with containers of PPE no- one wants.
What a lot of European hauliers used to do is send 1 unit and trailer across and 6 unaccompanied trailers
He would then spend all week delivering and reloading and take a back load back himself
Cabotage rules have always been quite hard to enforce and you really need to catch them at it and get hold of the drivers doc's
As you say it won't make much difference, hauliers won't lose contracts over it because a cabotage haulier has kicked it
The work will be low paid stuff out of clearing houses that few people will want anyway.
However it's almost as if HMG wants to call the RAH's bluff on everything they say or do.
We want cheap drivers from Europe
There you go they're even bringing their own trucks