Supply problems as truckers’ strike continues

The agri-food sector has called on the government to do more to end the truckers’ strike in Spain as the supply of fresh produce begins to affect supermarkets.

Affected industries have spoken out against those who attacked trucks and implemented blockades in logistics centers, forcing many companies to halt production due to distribution difficulties.

The government has downplayed the importance of the strike, calling it a boycott which is only supported by independent drivers and which is not widespread. The self-employed are directly affected by rising fuel prices, which makes it unprofitable for many of them to continue working.

It is estimated that the losses suffered by the agri-food sector already exceed 600 million euros, putting more than 100,000 jobs at risk.

Aecoc, Fiab, Aces, Anged and Asedas all denounced the boycott yesterday saying: “Strike organizers who have tried to paralyze the country and are having a devastating effect on the entire food supply chain.”

They warn that “supply problems will begin for many products in the days and hours to come”.

Many business people have reported damage to vehicles, often resulting in deliveries not reaching their destination due to punctures. They say: “There are thousands of trucks that want to leave and they don’t do it out of fear. This is not a problem of supply, but of safety in transport.

Reports suggest that not all regions are affected equally, with Galicia, Andalusia and Extremadura being more affected. These are areas that have a high production of perishable foodstuffs. In Galicia, the ports of Burela, Celeiro and La Coruña are in “a critical situation” with fishing stocks that are neither delivered nor collected.

In Almeria, fruit and vegetable companies lose around 10 million a day and in Huelva they estimate that each raspberry truck contains around 100,000 euros of product and strawberry trucks around 50,000 euros. Exporters are also complaining about not being able to ship their goods with the olive oil sector, saying up to 70% of its exports are affected.

Milk and beer deliveries are also affected, with bars and restaurants warning that the strike is driving up costs, and the longer it drags on the worse the situation will get.

The Alliance for the Competitiveness of Spanish Industry, which integrates strategic industrial sectors (automotive, steel, refining, etc.) urged the executive to take measures now to resolve the conflict, such as lowering the price of fuel, without waiting for the approval of the National Response Plan to the impact of the war, scheduled for March 29.

Jenkar, a forwarding agent, also warned that similar measures could be taken in France and other countries.

While the truckers’ strike affects supply in some areas such as fresh produce, the overall impact on the economy will be to drive up prices, further affecting the average man on the street, including strikers.

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