Saturday, December 4

The collapse of maritime traffic favors the opening of new land routes with China


This is the case of Trucksters, the startup international road transport will implement an itinerary that will connect China with Spain in 2022. “It is a route that we operate during the pandemic, in 2020, and that we hope to launch next year”; comment Ramon Castro, co-founder and head of the Trucksters office in Galicia. The idea of ​​recovering this route is, in fact, based on the customer’s own demand. They will have a fleet of between 5 and 8 trucks that will transport goods by sections, which would take about 12 or 14 days to bring stocks from China to Spain. “Today, there are materials that arrive earlier by road than by sea,” says Castro. “This route will make sense for sectors with high added value, sectors that have urgency because almost everything that is lacking is due to the tension of the logistics networks, not so much because of the lack of material itself. The prices of transport by boat and by road are very stressed ”.

“It is a more expensive way than maritime transport, that is why not all merchandise can afford it”


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Other road transport operators have also chosen to expand their connecting routes to China. This is the case of Morarte, which runs this route between 18 and 15 days or Ceva Logistics, one of the main logistics groups in the world. “It is a more expensive way than maritime transport, that is why not all goods can afford it,” he explains. Iago Dominguez, manager of the Galicia Logistics Function Cluster.

In recent months, maritime transport has lost ground to road transport in Galicia’s international trade with Asia, especially with regard to imports. When comparing the first eight months of this year with the same period of 2019, it is observed that the value of the goods that arrived from Asia to Galicia by sea on the total falls from 71.37% to 58.76%, that is, 12 , 61 percentage points less. A decrease that absorbed, fundamentally, road transport whose weight increased by 10%, evidenced by the data from the Galicia Loxistic Function Cluster. “They are relevant fluctuations but more than 50% of transport continues to be maritime,” recalls Domínguez.

It is still striking that electrical equipment and materials account for the bulk of road imports from Asia. An effect of the microchip crisis that the automotive sector is experiencing and that shows the fact that, in 2019, the main flow of goods on this road were motor vehicles and canned meat or fish. Most of the goods that arrive by air from the East are clothing items, although electrical equipment and materials also carry a significant weight. “Those materials that for urgency or value need a more immediate shipment are entering other means of transport,” explains the logistics expert.

The value of Asian imports by maritime transport falls to 873 million euros, that of road transport amounts to 466.6 million euros, the air one stands at 137.6 million euros and the railway concentrates 7.7 million euros in imports from Asia. In all cases, China stands as the main country with commercial flow in the region, with a distance from the rest. The transfer will be temporary, considers Domínguez. “These volumes respond to a conjunctural situation”, he opines.

Featured Keys

  • Shipping chaos
  • The value of Asia’s imports by maritime transport falls from the 71% that it represented of the total in 2019, to 58.7% in 2021.
  • Opportunity for the terrestrial
  • Road transport absorbed practically all of this decrease, and its weight increased by 10% compared to 2019 levels.
  • The railroad rears its head
  • The railroad has also increased considerably, but continues to be a minority mode. It has gone from representing 0.01% of imports in 2019 to the current 0.50%.


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