On Monday 24 March, a minority platform of transporters in Spain, but mainly independent drivers, called for an unlimited transport strike until a government solution is found to the uncontrolled rise in fuel prices. The impact of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine is making transport companies unviable due to lack of profitability.
Since the call for strike action, information pickets have managed to block the main roads, preventing the supply of materials, which has had a serious impact on the whole distribution chain, especially on perishable goods. Our sector was affected in the same way: the export of finished slate was blocked and production was put at risk due to the lack of materials needed for daily operations (pallets, diesel, spare parts, etc.).
As this is a non-perishable material, we cannot state that there are direct losses in the slate sector, but unexpected delivery delays, longer than usual. The effects of this strike will not help this problem. Based on the export data for March 2021, which amounted to 49,027 tons, we can estimate that about 24,000 tons (almost 1,000 truckloads of slate) were cumulating in stock, awaiting a solution.
Finally, 15 days later, the government offered the transporters a subsidy of 20 cents per litre of diesel. This offer was accepted by all the representatives of the transporters, except for the platform that had called for a strike and continued the blockade for several days, but with much less intensity.
Today, the situation has returned to normal and we are trying to serve our customers as quickly as possible, giving priority to emergencies, extending our loading hours and even doing it in the early hours of the morning if the carrier asks us to in order to optimise delivery times.
We hope that gradually everything will return to normal, even if it will take several weeks to catch up with the backlog, especially due to the lack of available transport.
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