How has sea freight been affected by strike?

The effects of the transport strike are still latent, since the industry isn’t completely back on its feet yet.

For 20 days, the road transport service has been almost completely paralyzed and has caused a very high level of congestion in ports throughout Spain, one of the most affected logistics points by the strike.

The impossibility to access to the ports and pick up the merchandise has caused many stranded containers and, therefore, space saturation. Therefore, the merchandise has not been able to be distributed on time and, on many occasions, the perishable products that remained inside the refrigerated containers had to be destroyed. The food sector, for example, has been greatly affected, as the products deteriorate every day.

In addition, there are fees and postage that must be paid for the storage of containers in ports, and also the cost of the electricity required by containers with food must be paid, for example. These millionaire losses have caused the closure of many Spanish companies that have not been able to assume the consequences of this strike. Since most do not have contracted in their insurance policy “the risk of damages caused by a strike”.

Spanish ports have had to act quickly, and implement contingency plans to alleviate this crisis and release parked containers. One of the measures taken by the Port of Barcelona was to give priority to import over export operations.

It must also be considered that maritime transport is still reconvering from the recent storms. Also, the problem of empty containers is still not solved. Empty container management is responsible for repositioning containers that have already been unloaded at a minimum cost and, at the same time, managing the demands of companies that resort to containerization in their operations and need empty containers. Today, some areas have a surplus of empty containers, while others have a shortage. Also, the challenge of replacing empty containers has a high annual cost, which is why technology companies are trying to find solutions.

Nevertheless, finally it seems that the strike is over and these are some of the most important measures that the government has adopted:

  • Prohibition of the driver’s participation in the loading and unloading of merchandise.
  • Reduction of waiting times from 3h to 2h in the case of containers.
  • Mandatory price revision clause based on the evolution of fuel costs.
  • Law to combat late payments, which penalizes payments oer 60 days in the transport sector.
  • Discount of 20 cents per liter of fuel.

Let’s hope that the logistics chain has learned from this situation, and becomes stronger for the next ones to come!

Transglory Team!