The Association of International Road Transport (ASTIC) has celebrated its XLII General Assembly in Granada, under the motto Spanish transport moves Europe, where he has focused his speech on the leadership treasured by the Spanish transport company in Europe. After Poland, Spanish carriers are the ones with the most international services in the EU: 16%, equivalent to 76,442 million tons per kilometer, compared to 215,184 million tons of Poland, according to Eurostat data.

In this edition, the Spanish employers of international transport has chosen Granada for its expansion as an intermodal logistics connection center between southern Europe and North Africa for the international transport of goods (maritime and road). Thus, the Port of Motril closed 2018 as a leader in export growth of the national port system with a 47.7% increase in the number of operations, and registered a 21.7% increase in general port traffic (2, 8 million tons), 19 points above the national average. Specifically, in the last five years, it has been reinforced in 2018 mainly thanks to Ro-Ro traffic (truck to ship), with more than 325,000 tons, according to official data from the Port Authority of Motril.

During the Assembly, which was inaugurated by Gerardo Cuerva, president of CEPYME, and which has been attended by the largest road transport companies in Spain, by turnover and number of vehicles, it has become clear that, despite the fragmentation which the sector faces in Spain, our country is listed as the third largest employer in Europe, with more than 231,600 jobs, only behind France (314,500) and Poland (291,224). However, there continues to be a deficit in Spain of more than 10,000 professional long distance driver positions.

For his part, the president of ASTIC, Marcos Basante, has highlighted the strategic nature of international road transport for the foreign sector of the Spanish economy. "75% of Spanish exports travel by road to Europe, which in itself exposes the vital role of the sector in the Gross Domestic Product of the country, which contributes 5%," said Basante. Likewise, the international mode in Spain represents one third (33%) of the total transport of goods by road (TMC) in tons / km, far ahead of neighboring countries such as France (7%) or Germany (13.2%) , which are precisely the main destinations for goods that leave Spain and that concentrate 45%. "There is uncertainty in the sector, but this year we have been strengthened, we have grown in turnover, and now we have to be more united and each one has the courage to define the future of the general framework in which the sector develops and its complex casuistry. ", Highlighted Basante.

Brexit

Pending the occurrence of a Brexit with or without agreement, in order to correctly assess the impact it would have in Spain, it is worth remembering the relevance of the United Kingdom as a trading partner for our country: it represents about 12% of the value of our exports and 10% of our imports to and from the EU, accounting for 8% of the ton.km that are produced by road to make this transaction between both countries. "Hard times are coming with the threat of a Brexit without agreement and the pending negotiation of the Mobility Package between the European Parliament, Assembly and Commission. Therefore, we must build a more firm and united business fabric than ever before, which together with the political and economic power and the social agents, in the same direction, to face up to the sectoral consequences of the British exit from Europe, "he warned. the president of ASTIC.

Quality employment and distribution

On the other hand, Basante has emphasized the future of the business model of the sector, where cooperation prevails over the fierce competition and quality employment generated by the traditional business model, with employees, vehicles and warehouses, as opposed to the precarious of disruptive corporate engineering, which pretend a destructured base of carriers to subcontract and coordinate them, freeing themselves from their fixed costs. "We are in favor of competition in the market, but on equal terms. For many years we have been building solid economic development bases with large investments in vehicles, facilities and human resources and it is unfair and dangerous that these new digital platforms try to compete with other rules. Faced with these companies of 'non-contributory' economy, which do not pay taxes, we provide contributions and taxes, something that we must put in value. We are an island in the middle of the European desert, "said the president of ASTIC.

Pioneers of digitalization: eCMR

The transport companies considered as traditional are already highly digitized in many aspects: telemetry to measure, record and analyze in real time the various parameters of the truck; route optimization to shorten empty kilometers; the management of driving times; the customs transit; Fleet management and information to customers, etc. Precisely ASTIC is a pioneer of the implementation of eCMR in road transport since 2016, which has facilitated administrative procedures in customs transits. A clear example of this was the first intermodal transport by electronic postage card in Europe that connected Spain and Italy, via truck-ship-truck, on 25 February. ASTIC supported the inauguration of this trip, carried out by the road transport companies Transitalia Spain and the Italian shipping company Grimaldi. A truck loaded with paper coils and equipped with digital documents left by road from Madrid to the port of Valencia, where it took the seaway to the port of Livorno, from where it left again by road to its final destination in Verona.

"Being a transport company is fully compatible with digitalisation. This first intermodal trip in Europe with eCMR is a clear example of technological innovation applied to our sector, since it represents the present and the most immediate future so that logistics operations are more efficient, competitive and safe. This electronic document undoubtedly facilitates the management, the real-time monitoring of the charges and their legal protection, "said Basante.

Also, the Assembly has had the development of different technical conferences and a round table that have analyzed various issues that concern the sector: the implementation of Dual Vocational Training and the major business trends and sectoral regulations in Europe, among others.

The closing of the XLII General Assembly of ASTIC 2019 has been conducted by María José Rallo, Secretary General of Transport of the Ministry of Public Works, which has emphasized the importance of the unity and business collaboration of the sector as a guarantee of the country's economic development.

ASTIC is a non-profit organization of Spanish origin born in 1960 and currently integrated into the International Road Transport Union (IRU), headquartered in Geneva. ASTIC works to improve the conditions of the transport sector in Spain taking into account that they work in a European environment. Currently, it has more than 200 affiliates representing the largest freight and passenger transport companies in Spain, both in terms of number of vehicles and billing.



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