Own-account or third-party transport: what is the difference?

National laws relating to freight handling, highway codes and European transport regulations are not always easy to understand and therefore to apply correctly.
The difference between third-party and own-account transport depends on the vehicle type, load weight and driver’s authorisation.
Unlawful transportation is illegal and may be subject to very high administrative penalties (up to 15,000 euro).
For this reason, it is a good idea to know all the specifications in order to implement own-account or third-party freight transport correctly.
This article explores the difference between third-party and own-account transport.

What does own account transport mean?

We refer to own-account freight transport when:

  1. The materials to be handled are owned by the company, public body or private body (“legal entity” in jargon) carrying out the transport
  2. The vehicle driver (i.e. the “natural person”) is the owner or an employee of the company
  3. The vehicle in which the materials are transported is owned by the company or hired for this purpose
  4. The handling and related costs are not a significant item on the company balance sheet. In other words, own-account transport is not an economically dominant business
  5. The transport is certified by a special registration certificate.

Finally, the handling is not carried out for a fee.

Now that we have looked at what own-account transport means, we shall define what third-party transport means.

When is third-party transport needed?

The main difference between own-account transport and third-party transport is that the latter is an ongoing professional business in every respect.

We refer to third-party freight transport when:

  1. The materials to be transported are owned by a client that engages the haulier
  2. The vehicle in which the materials are transported is owned by the company, which takes charge of the goods and makes a suitable fleet of vehicles available to the client
  3. The handling, the related costs and the fee agreed with the client are the main items in the balance sheet.

Finally, third-party transport is paid.

How many types of third-party license are there?

There are three types of third-party transport license:

  • Third-party transport license up to 1.5 tons
  • Third-party transport license up to 3.5 tons
  • Third-party transport license with no restrictions or limits.

Certain requirements must be met in order to get a license, such as moral fitness (also known as good repute), professional fitness and financial capacity.

At our page Transport Of Goods For Hire Or Reward: Quality and Safety, you can find out more about how third-party transport of goods works.

Who can drive a third-party vehicle?

The vehicle driver must be a professional with specific licenses and authorisations for extraordinary transport and to drive large vehicles.
The company must also be registered in the Register of Road Haulage, as is Inovys Logistic.
Inovys Logistic offers third-party freight transport tailored to any need.

Find out about the service

Via Giuseppe Mazzini, 70
20056 Trezzo sull’Adda
Via Giovanni Boccaccio, 14
20123 Milan (MI)