How is the national transport in Spain? Is there a predominant mode of transportation? How much merchandise moves within our borders? How has the arrival and development of express paleteria distribution networks been in our country?
For logistics operators such as Transgesa, it is essential to know the answer to these questions and to know what our national transport is like.
Who rules in national transport
If there is an undisputed king in national transport, that is the road. The great dominator of logistics in Spain brings together the shipment of more than 80% of the products that are purchased in Spain, relegating maritime transport to second position and far from the train and the plane, which are relegated to the tail wagon.
What is the reason for this marked preference? There are several reasons to explain it. One of them is the geography of Spain, especially its dimensions. Being a medium-sized country, the distances are quite convenient to travel by truck, since a working day covers many trips. This makes it competitive with offers such as the train, which usually requires more kilometers to be profitable.
Comfort is also another important point. The highway does not force you to adapt to train schedules or their volumes (the more volume, the more chances of making a profit) or the particularities of the ship or plane. For companies that hire transport, it is usually easier to contract a road trip than to make the leap to other types of transport. The possibility of taking the delivery directly to the recipient’s door also influences, something that does not happen in the rest of the means, which usually require additional management to move the merchandise from the port, the airport or the train station.
The highway, however, is not without its own drawbacks. For example, the traffic jams that may arise are difficult to foresee -especially if there are meteorological causes- and the logistics operator can do little in the face of them. This is a problem that usually neither the plane, nor the ship, nor the train have to face.
Data on national transport
We have already seen that the highway is the queen within national transport. What other figures help us understand what transport is like in Spain and what is its importance? Among the most relevant figures that we can refer to are the number of people employed in the sector and the weight that this has over the total economic activity in the country.
Regarding the number of people who work in logistics, the data for 2017 put the figure at 800,000 people. While the volume of business rose to 110,000 million euros, which represents 7.8% of the Gross Domestic Product of Spain.
Another digit that is very important for national transport in its participation regarding energy consumption, since it is a very intensive activity in this sense. According to Eurostat figures, the energy consumption of the “transport” sector in Spain during 2016 accounted for 42.4% of the total national consumption. This makes logistics have a great responsibility when it comes to taking initiatives that are committed to caring for the environment, such as the use of more ecological vehicles and new fuels such as LNG.
The development of national transport
Transport and logistics are sectors that do not stop. The development of new services has gone hand in hand with the appearance of new needs by customers. In recent years, one of the segments that has had the greatest boom and that has evolved the most has been the distribution of express pallets.
In 2006, the first urgent distribution networks for pallets landed in Spain, coming from England. And just over five years later, in 2012, Transgesa was part of the birth of Palibex, the first 100% Spanish network dedicated to this segment. A niche market that is experiencing a real boom. So much so that Palibex was included in 2017 by the Financial Times in the ranking of the 1,000 fastest growing companies in Europe (FT 1,000).
What are these growths due to? The express pallet shop is responding to one of the great trends not only in national transport but also in logistics throughout the planet: the reduction of stocks. As companies try to keep less merchandise in stock – in order to reduce storage costs and to have a smaller amount of product pending sale – the size of the items is reduced. This makes companies turn to more flexible shipping methods and better accommodate those shipments of individual pallets or small groups, which can be more difficult to move using traditional groupage.
In addition, the express paleteria distribution networks are also imitating the best of another branch of logistics: parcels and courier. From this “little brother” the increasingly demanding transits are being incorporated. This is the case of our network, Palibex, which offered the first delivery commitment before 12 in the morning, which we later increased until 10 in the morning.
It is interesting to remember that the phenomenon of these networks in national transport is relatively new if we compare it to other countries such as England, where they have been operating for longer. However, these pallet delivery networks are growing strongly in our country and the market is receiving them with open arms.
Nor can we forget about technology, which is going to be a fundamental axis of the future of the supply chain. From demand forecasting, Big Data and connectivity to the development of smart delivery points. Knowing how to take advantage of these fields will put companies that manage to get more out of them at an advantage.
We have seen that national transport is a fundamental tool to boost the country’s economy, that it has a great weight in employment and in the economic activity of the whole of Spain and that it will continue to evolve according to the needs of the market and the advances of the technology.