Photo: Fig. (illustrative purposes only)

French and Polish farmers’ protests cost hauliers millions

Despite the best efforts of the French and Spanish authorities, the recent protest by farmers at the border between the two countries has caused severe congestion. 

You can read this article in 4 minutes

The Federación Interregional de Asociaciones de Transporte hs summarised the additional costs incurred by hauliers affected by the congestion. Meanwhile, logistics operator DSV has summed up the losses incurred by the logistics industry as a result of the farmers’ protests in Poland in March this year. The sums run into the millions.

The authorities and services of both Spain and France realised that the protest would have a huge negative impact on road freight transport between the two countries. An average of 10,000 lorries cross the border at Biriatou every day, with the heaviest traffic on Monday when drivers working in international transport set off after a weekend rest. 

Despite cooperation between the French and Spanish authorities and a coordination protocol between services on both sides of the border, the impact of the protest on freight traffic was not mitigated. After a 24-hour border blockade, vehicles were stuck in a traffic jam for 12 hours in the Spanish province of Gipuzkoa.

Spanish hauliers are outraged. The Interregional Federation of Transport Associations (Federación Interregional de Asociaciones de Transporte) calculates the losses companies suffered as a result of the farmers’ action last Monday.

“For every hour of downtime, a haulier loses €55. In 36 hours, 15,000 vehicles give us a result of 30 million euros in losses. Who compensates for this? The aggrieved party in all this is, as always, the transport sector,” the organisation claims.

Over €40 million per day

Operator DSV – Global Transport and Logistics has also presented an analysis on the impact of the farmers’ protests on the transport industry. 

More specifically, the company estimated the losses hauliers suffered as a result of the protest actions organised by Polish farmers in March this year. The operator recalls that at the time, roads were blocked in more than 500 locations in different parts of the country.

“According to (…) estimates, the events of 19 March impeded the movement of up to 30% of heavy goods vehicles moving on Polish roads that day (with 1.3 million such units registered in Poland),” the analysis stated.

According to DSV, the delays caused by the blockades were felt most in the domestic transport sector, primarily due to “short contractual delivery times compared to international transport services.”

“Assuming that 1.3 million heavy goods vehicles travel on Polish roads every day, with the average delay of a means of transport estimated at 3 hours and current freight rates, this results in a loss of PLN 450 (approx 104 euros) per vehicle. According to these estimates, the losses to hauliers on this account may therefore amount to as much as PLN 175 million ( approx 40.6 million euros) per day nationwide,” estimates the operator.

DSV analysts also analysed operations at Poland’s largest sea and air ports. In this case, the March agricultural protests did not have a major impact on their operations.

“As a significant proportion of deliveries and collections at these types of terminals take place at night, major disruptions to schedules were avoided,” the study added.