Buying a truck in Asturias requires a wait of a year and a half and there are hardly any second-hand - My Blog
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Buying a truck in Asturias requires a wait of a year and a half and there are hardly any second-hand

Several tractor heads, at the entrance to Gijón last March, during the stoppages carried out by carriers. / DAMIAN ARIENZA

The chip crisis and logistics bottlenecks are holding up vehicle deliveries

Noelia A. Erausquin

Trucks are missing. To the runaway prices of fuels and the shortage of professional drivers, there is now another problem: the impossibility of renewing the fleet. The microchip crisis and the bottlenecks in the production and logistics chains have extended the wait to be able to buy one of these vehicles to around a year and a half in Asturias and throughout the country. In the best of cases, sources in the sector point out, it takes around twelve months, if ‘the lottery’ is not hit, that some buyer finally gives up the commissioned truck and there may be a shortcut. Although this is the exception.

Such is the problem of the scarcity of these vehicles that the second-hand market has run out of supplies and the few that go on sale do so at skyrocketing prices. Even so, they disappear soon due to the high demand. “Last week an auction of industrial vehicles was held in Ocaña, which was highly visited and there have been almost no trucks, yes industrial machines, but no trucks and before there always were,” laments Ovidio de la Roza, president of Asetra and the Confederation Spanish Transport of Goods (CETM). “There is nothing, there are even semi-trailers in the factories already bought and paid for, but paralyzed because there are no tractor heads to hook them up.”

And it is not a minor investment. An average type tractor head costs between 70,000 and 100,000 euros, to which must be added between 35,000 and 40,000 euros for the trailer. The concern is greater because there are no signs that the problem is going to be resolved in the short term and it rains pours for a sector in which problems are piling up. “We are once again facing a perfect storm,” underlines De la Roza, given the escalation in costs and the lack of trucks and professionals – it is estimated that 15,000 are needed in Spain. “At least we have work, that’s true,” she resigns herself.

The situation is once again alarming for truckers, who these days are negotiating with the Government to extend the 20-cent discount on fuel. It is an aid that has already far exceeded the rise in gasoline and diesel in recent weeks, but which is seen as “better than nothing”, although all analysts point out that prices will continue to rise in summer, when vehicle travel private companies increase even more, due to vacations, and the transport of goods increases.

Three euros

“There are analysts who point out that fuel will reach three euros, I don’t want to believe it,” says De la Roza, who acknowledges that the situation “is very complicated” and defends the right of truckers to pass on this cost increase in the price of the ports, “which cost a lot to get and that you have to use”. It is a revision clause agreed with the Government to alleviate the difficulties of the sector and that “in Asturias it is being carried out for the most part, although there are clients who resist. We are adapting.”

The bonus is just a small support for the professionals of the wheel, but who do not want to lose. “It will be possible to extend the aid until December 31”, trusts De la Roza, who defends that transferring the extra cost that the current escalation implies to the rates “is the only way out.”

From IUF, the organization that led the transport strikes in Asturias in March, its president, José Fernández, acknowledges that companies in the community are paying “quite well” and the rise is being passed on, “with Arcelor at the helm.” This is not the case in other places, which has led to hearing drums of war in the sector again, which in the Principality would not have the echo of those of three months ago.

Precisely, after being left out last May of the national platform that promoted the protests throughout the country, IUF representatives met this weekend in Lugo to launch a federation that brings together professionals from the north of Spain to negotiate with the government.