Transport activity decreased 10% until June and empty returns increased up to 43%

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Road transport activity fell in the second quarter by more than 10% in Spain according to the permanent survey of the Ministry of Transport

The Ministry of Transport publishes the update of the Observatories of costs, prices and activity of the transport of goods by road corresponding to the 2nd quarter of 2020.

In this quarter, an increase in costs and prices was observed, as well as a continuation of the reduction in activity of more than 10% and a worrying increase in empty returns that reached 43% in international transport .
This Thursday, September 24, the Ministry of Transport has made public the results of the Observatories of costs, prices and activity of the transport of goods by road corresponding to the second quarter of this year 2020, on the occasion of the telematic meeting that has taken place of the Group of Work that make up the representatives of the Administration, the associations of transporters and the loading companies that meets quarterly to proceed with its analysis and subsequent approval.

Regarding the operating costs of the road freight transport activity, there was an increase in the second quarter of 2020, after the significant drop that occurred in the first quarter as a result of the drop in the price of crude oil. Thus in the second quarter the price of fuel increased by 3.9% and bank financing by 23.3%. Thus, the unit cost per kilometer for an articulated general cargo vehicle is established at € 1.02 / km, having produced an average cost increase of 1.7%, which rises to 1.8% in the case of the Refrigerated articulated vehicle and only 0.5% in the case of the van. In said quarter, the fuel item has gained some weight in the cost structure, representing 26% of the total operating costs for an articulated general cargo vehicle, exceeded by the personnel and per diem item, which represents 35.6% of the total costs.

Regarding the prices received by the transport companies, in the second quarter of 2020 a recovery is observed with an average growth of 1.5%, being greater in long distances (routes greater than 300 kilometers) with the 2 ‘ two%.

Regarding the activity carried out in this second quarter, based on the permanent survey that the Ministry of Transport does every week to 1000 transporters from all sectors and specialties, the data corresponding to the activity of transport companies during the second quarter is significant. of 2020, taking into account that the sector suffered the impact of the declaration of the state of alarm decreed by the Government with the consequent paralysis of many economic activities at the beginning of the quarter, although activity was resumed at the end of the same until the new normality. Thus, a reduction in activity is observed, specifically -11’3% of transported tons and -10’8% of produced ton-kilometers, being especially significant in international transport, with drops of -15’3 %.

Likewise, as we have already been warning from FENADISMER, during this quarter there was an important imbalance in the transport companies in the necessary balance with which they operate in outbound and return cargo, as a result of the health crisis. This has caused that in international transport the empty returns have increased compared to the previous year by more than 43% and in the case of national transport by more than 8% increase, with the consequent increase in costs and loss of efficiency and profitability.