Sustainable Logistics of End-of-life Vehicles – Trends in Europe


  • Agata Mesjasz-Lech Czestochowa University of Technoloy Faculty of Management



sustainable development, sustainable logistics, end-of-life vehicle, recovery, reuse, recycling


Purpose of the article: In the article we have focused on the trends determining the development of reverse logistics of end-of-life vehicles in selected European countries. The analysis concentrates on quantity of end-of-life vehicles which are especially interesting for reverse logistics because of their fitness for recovery or reuse. End-of-life products contain fully valuable elements which, according to the idea of sustainable use of resources, should be recovered. Accordingly, reverse logistics aims at protecting natural resources and the environment through reintroduction of processed waste materials into the economic cycle as valuable products and materials. Methodology/methods: The aim of the article was achieved on the basis of a critical analysis of subject literature and the analysis of statistical data. In the article the method of descriptive and mathematical statistics and dynamic analysis were used. The 2006–2014 years were analyzed. The data come from the data base of the Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. The following variables were taken into account: the amount of end-of-life vehicles (in tonnes and in number of cars), reuse level (in tonnes), recovery level (in tonnes), and recycling level (in tonnes). The analysis was based on a t-Student test for two average values of dependent samples, sign test and the Wilcoxon signed rank test. In order to see if the reverse logistics actions implemented in European countries were effective, the analysis compares the average values of individual variables from the year 2014 and 2006. Measurements were done for the same countries on the same element of population. The chain indexes and the average change tempo for specified variables were calculated. The similarity of the formation of specified variables in each year was compared on the basis of the index of similarity structures. Scientific aim: The scientific aim of the article is to identify the basic trends determining the development of reverse logistics of end-of-life vehicles in selected European countries (Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Hungary, The Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Finland, United Kingdom, Norway). These trends are reflected in the amount of end-of-life vehicles designed for reuse, recovery and recycling. Findings: With respect to their total or partial processing, end-of-life vehicles are handled according to the 3R principle (reduce, reuse, and recycle) in order to promote the concept of sustainable development. Unfortunately, the number of end-of-life vehicles in Europe is increasing which is a result of the growing economy and society’s wealth. Also the ecological awareness of the producers and consumers is rising which is reflected in the increased number of end-of-life vehicles put through reuse, recovery and recycling processes. The analyzed period shows an average annual increase in the reuse, recovery and recycling indexes in most of the discussed countries. Therefore, we can speak of an increasing ecological efficiency of sustainable logistics of end-of-life vehicles. Conclusions: Sustainable logistics allows to recover value from used products. End-of-life products contain materials of full value that should be recovered, which undoubtedly fosters sustainable use of resources. European countries vary according to both the effort and the result of the end-of-life vehicles recovery which is due to economic, legal and cultural circumstances. But research shows the existence of positive trends in the realization of reuse, recovery and recycling processes of end-of-life vehicles. These tendencies should delineate further activities in this area.