Interview with Carlos Zubialde: "There are not enough lorries for all the loads, so transport prices will rise"

Spain
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Carlos Zubialde has a long professional experience linked to transport that he transmits through his website www.informacionlogistica.com where he offers us his point of view on transport, logistics and ecommerce. 

Today, we have had the opportunity to interview him from ScrapAd, where Lucía Peláez, logistics director, has prepared a battery of questions about the current situation and future forecasts for the sector. Here is a summary of the interview. If you want to see it in full, you can do so by clicking on the following link: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KuJMbP2t1Cg

What is the current situation of land transport?
Road transport is in a "delicate" moment for several different reasons. Operating costs are increasingly higher, which means that self-employed hauliers and small companies are abandoning the activity more and more, leaving the market more and more concentrated. A second point is the lack of generational replacement in positions such as drivers, making the balance between supply and demand increasingly greater (there are not enough lorries for all loads). And finally, the activity itself is making talent retention a major future problem. 

What is the trend in transport prices?
As I said, there are not enough lorries for all loads, which means that transport prices will rise. And we must also keep an eye on the costs of raw materials such as oil, as fuel currently accounts for almost 50% of the total operating cost of a lorry.

What will the future of transport depend on, price or availability?
Availability, no doubt, moreover. So that we can see the real dimension, in 2022, 5 companies with their own fleet and a significant number of their own trucks have been fully or partially bought by investment funds. 

When is outsourcing efficient?
When it is done within a legal framework and with the objective of providing a correct service. If subcontracting is only the overlapping of companies that want to gain "their share of the cake", the effective transporter will have a minimum income, and the quality of the service may not be the desired one. 

What limitations does the high value of goods present in land transport?
Mainly the availability, and in this case, of the right vehicles and means to be able to manage, control and monitor the service. And the lack of availability results in a clear high price.

A current trend is to promote the reduction of emissions. Can rail transport be considered an environmentally friendly alternative? Do you think rail transport will be promoted in the near future?
Rail transport is an alternative if we talk about sustainability, but not if we talk about an operational alternative, at least at the moment. The situation of rail transport in Spain is so precarious that Renfe Mercancías, for example, is negotiating the entry of a logistics partner into the company, a partner that will surely end up acquiring the whole company, as has happened in previous cases. 

Currently, what is the profitability of taking goods out of the national territory? 
The profitability of transport is very low, we can find companies that work to reach the "break even", or those that work with margins between 1% and 5%. 

Focusing on Spain and with the entry of the new LOTT, what clear effects are derived from this new law?
Above all, the regulatory changes produced in Decree-Law 14/2022, a consequence of the mobilisations of March 2022, such as the limitation in the subcontracting chain, the new law prohibiting loading and unloading or the transport law, which aims to promote price control, with the objective that the transporter has the necessary income to cover the costs of the activity.

Focusing on the waste sector, what problems can we find with the cross-border movement of waste? 
The main problems are related to the different regulatory applications of the different countries, in particular the types of waste that may or may not be transported in one country and which require different management in another, as well as the levels of security, control and monitoring of the transport itself.

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