Toll Collect

Toll Collect GmbH ( engl. collect toll " toll collect " ), based in Berlin, is a company that was commissioned by the German Ministry of Transport to build the system for taking the truck toll on German motorways, operate and settle the fees. The company employs a total of about 520 people in 2013 in Berlin and the locations Langenhagen, Nuremberg, Pforzheim, Potsdam and Wuppertal.



Toll Collect was established in March 2002 as a joint venture between Deutsche Telekom (45 % shareholder share ), Daimler ( 45%; through Daimler Financial Services) and the French Vinci group ( 10% ( through its subsidiary Cofiroute ) ) was founded. The participating companies participated as consortium ETC ( Electronic Toll Collect) in the tender for the toll system; Cofiroute was included because he had been asked by the candidates experience with similar projects.

In July 2002, the consortium was awarded the contract on 20 September 2002 (two days before the election ) signed Kurt Bodewig transport minister (SPD), the contract with Toll Collect. For the operation of the toll system Toll Collect was to receive twelve years approximately 650 million euros annually from toll revenues.

Commissioning of the system

Technical problems during the test operation of the toll system led to delays in the introduction of the system. The original August 31, 2003 planned start date could not be met by Toll Collect. After they had been accused of delaying or euphemistic statements, the executive director, Michael Rummel, as well as the Chairman of the Board, Klaus Mangold, was deposed in October 2003. New Managing Director was Viag Intercom manager Hans -Burghardt Ziermann, the new chairman from December Peter Mihatsch. They were already replaced again in March 2004. After the successful completion of trial operation, the Federal Office for Goods Transport (BAG ) issued on 15 December 2004, the "Special Preliminary approval " ( BVBe ). The official start of tolling found - in the time being technically reduced form - on 1 January 2005. Since 1 January 2006 the system is running with full functionality.

Technical background of the satellite-based toll system

Basically, every truck has to pay on German motorways a dependent on several parameters toll. Payable is the toll in various ways. On the one hand a certain distance can be booked before departure via the Internet, on the other hand, the toll also on so-called " toll stations " to be paid. Third and actually preferred way is the fully automated billing through the use of the GPS system, which makes the installation of so-called on -board units (OBU ) is required. With the launch of the truck, the OBU will turn on and locates the position of the vehicle by means of satellite navigation. Based on the position and route data stored in the OBU, the device can now determine independently whether toll obligation on the route. The data collected is not - as one might (as opposed to " microwave- supported " " satellite-based " ) conclude that the method name - at or through a satellite, but transmitted via mobile phone to a data center where it is processed for billing.

To avoid that toll payments are withheld ( for example by simply turning off the OBUs ), a truck photographed at the 300 or toll bridges, checked the other by about 450 mobile checkpoints. The data obtained are compared with the data in the central computer and, if appropriate measures are initiated. The complaint rate totals consistently below 1%.

Hopes to use the system in other countries, nor were implemented such considerations, additional services ( such as fleet management applications ) offer on the basis of toll system.

Competition concerns

The EU competition watchdog had 2002 objections to parts of the Toll Collect business plan. The toll system and the related so-called value-added services such as truck location and text messaging could help Daimler to a dominant position in telematics systems for transport and logistics. The group could have control over the investment in Toll Collect the access of other telematics service provider to the on-board unit (OBU ) above board instruments of the EU authorities consider. In order to receive EU approval, Daimler and the German Telekom were forced to accept several conditions. Thus, the Company may telematics gateway founded for value-added services such as traffic flow analysis and guidance aids not be controlled by Daimler and / or Deutsche Telekom. The on-board equipment must also be combined with other vendors' systems.

Development potential of Toll Collect

In many European countries, decisions were to regard the introduction, expansion or development of tolling technology. The main competitors of satellite-based system of Toll Collect was focused on microwave technology, as it is already available in some European countries used (eg Austria, Spain), on the other hand, the toll system in Switzerland, in which all relevant data are stored on a smart card be, which must be regularly sent to the billing to the responsible firm ( see also heavy Vehicle Fee ( Switzerland ) ). An exclusively satellite-based system that is based on the GPS and Galileo system is not offered. Toll Collect participated in the tender for the truck toll system in Austria in part, however, was unsuccessful, as the Austrian Government decided to use the microwave technology.

As long as the EU Commission aims to achieve a Europe-wide, based on a consistent satellite technology, toll system, companies such as Toll Collect or Swiss Fela chances to play out in bidding against technically otherwise established competitors.

Following the decision of the Ministry of Transport to include certain federal highway sections in the toll collection, the system was unable to incorporate at least half of these lines.

Extended Operation

The toll contracts in Germany are underway to August 2015., The Federation may extend the contract up to three times for one year. In addition, a takeover of the company is being considered by the federal government and a new tender for the toll system. According to a media report, the federal government is considering, for lack of a lack of alternatives to take over the company temporarily. Whether this option is realistic, is unlikely because there is no guarantee to collect here all the necessary licenses.

According to data from the negotiations, Daimler had no more interest in Toll Collect, while Telekom wants to stay involved. According to a press report, Allianz and Siemens considering entering in Toll Collect. The insurer is interested in investment opportunities, the technology company in the technology. The Austrian Kapsch toll operator and the Italian Autostrada Group were interested in a takeover.


In July 2005, the Federal Ministry of Transport did file a lawsuit against the toll consortium. Toll Collect is accused of the federal government deliberately unaware of the problems in the development and the associated delays and loss of revenue to have left. Due to various technical difficulties, the system was commissioned in early 2005 with only 16 month delay in operation. " The operators have deceived the covenant by have given commitments to the dates of the start-up partly in the knowledge of the delays and some without sufficient basis to enter Blue, so maliciously, " it says. 1.6 billion euro contractual penalties and 3.5 billion euro revenue losses were asserted. The value in dispute of an ongoing arbitration proceedings since 2004 and has grown with interest to around seven billion euros. The operating consortium in return makes about a billion euros claims that were previously withheld by the federal government. An agreement was not in sight in December 2012. In December 2012, took over with a new judge Wolfgang Nitsche method.

As of September 30, 2013, a week after the election, scheduled to meet again in Munich, the arbitral tribunal. After six days of negotiations, a decision, and thus a line was to be drawn under the eight-year dispute. [ Deprecated]

The many years of extensive secrecy of contract contents against the parliamentarians and supervisory bodies has been widely criticized. Similarly, the Department of Transportation failed to timely tender to possibly be able to pass the system to another operator after the contract ends.

Other criticisms directed against the system complexity and the basic concept that the environmental impacts imposed by the restriction on motorways and individual national road sections in side streets and thereby increased.