Tachographs 2026 changes ever closer

Discussions are not quieting down about the changes to come to the transport industry in 2026. These changes will primarily include the requirement for vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes gross vehicle weight to be equipped with tachographs. This obligation comes into force in July of the year indicated above. What does this mean for international road transport?

The year 2026 will completely change the TSL industry. Until now, vans have not been subject to controls that verify drivers’ driving time, breaks and rest, with the result that many companies have extended drivers’ working hours. Within three years, companies will have to install tachographs in their vehicles and ensure that they are used correctly in their daily work. Driver training will be required for this purpose. Any failure to comply with the obligation will be the responsibility of the haulier.

The new rules will reduce the profitability of express transport. The high costs incurred as a result of retrofitting cars with tachographs and specific rules on driving time for drivers will cause production companies to start abandoning this type of vehicle service. The market for vans will decline to a large extent, especially the long-distance market. Small transport companies, which will enter 2026 with leased vehicles, will be particularly at risk.

To illustrate how these changes will affect the industry, we provide a breakdown of the cost and delivery time of 1 pallet per 1,000km for vans and trucks. The author of these calculations is Matex Transport owner Monika Sobolewska.

At Matex Transport we do not look at the situation passively – we think about the future of the company and our Customers by making decisions now. The future of vans is at stake, which is why, in order to ensure the fluidity of orders for our Customers, we have introduced trucks into our offer. As a result, regardless of the impact of the “mobility package”, we will still be able to fulfil transport orders – both in the FTL and LTL areas. Dear Customer, your business is safe with us.

That is not all. At the end of August, the latest tachographs, which comply with the regulation, will hit the market. We have made sure that we are able to purchase them in advance and equip each of our new vehicles with them. The investment is estimated to be around 1,950,000-2,600,000 (with a fleet of 130 of our own vans). Why? The cost of each of the new tachographs is as much as 15,000-20,000 at the moment. Any transport company that wants to stay in the market has to prepare for a huge investment and adapt to the new logistics. We are taking some steps today so that in 2026 we do not expose the company to having to buy tachographs at a higher price – dictated by increased demand – or even a shortage.

Monika Sobolewska

The year 2026 marks the biggest revolution in 25 years in the transport industry. Being aware of the responsibility for a team of 150 people employed in the company, we have already taken measures that will allow us not only to survive in the market, but even to become a leader, also in the FTL industry. In addition to the rapid development of the FTL business, we are planning to open a warehouse in Germany, which will enable us to create a bespoke logistics service for the most demanding needs. These are just a few of a number of measures we have taken with a view to the changes to come. As a business and socially responsible company, we plan to be ready to enter a new era of logistics in just one year’s time.

Anna Nazim
Logistics Director

With the decisions we are making today, we want to reassure our Customers that we are looking after their interests. The future of express transport is in question, which is why we are acting decisively – both in the area of investment and by introducing the possibility of transport by truck. The scale of the changes that await the transport industry requires companies to react well in advance, otherwise they may be faced with the problem of tachograph availability or higher prices.

Michał Turek
Head of FTL

In light of the upcoming changes, no transport company should remain passive. Decisive steps should be taken today to ensure a stable future for them within 3 years. Matex Transport will invest close to 2-3 million to comply with the regulations that will be enforced in 2026. Since December 2022, we have been vigorously developing a trucking division that ensures continuity of orders for our customers even after the changes.

Grzegorz Gawłowski
Fleet Director

The coming months will be marked by changes at Matex Transport. Not only will we train the drivers, equip the vans with the latest tachographs, but also provide remote telematics for their operation. With it, we will download data from driver cards and tachographs, controlling offences in real time. After 2026, there will be a new era in logistics, and the measures taken today will determine who remains in the market. That is why we are now betting not only on express transport, but also on truck transport.

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