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"We are more concerned about the heat, which is delaying the citrus campaign"
Road blocks in Catalonia cause some delays in fruit and veg shipmentsThe general strike in Catalonia that took place on Wednesday, 8 November, caused traffic jams from 6:00 am. The first roads affected by the demonstrations were the Nacional II and the AP-7, the latter at both ends of Catalonia, from Camarles (Ebre) to Borrassà (Empordà). There were thirty more cuts as the peak traffic hours approached. Moreover, many demonstrators concentrated in La Jonquera, in front of the French border, cutting off access in both directions to vehicles trying to enter or leave the neighbouring country.
The highway cuts caused some delays in the shipments, although in the opinion of some retailers, these were just isolated cases without major consequences.
"We proceeded to look for alternative routes for our trucks as soon as we learned about the issue, assuming the extra costs that this entailed," says Javier Bayona, manager of the Valencian transport company Alianza Galadatrans. "We have not had to face pickets or violence," he adds.
"Some roads remained cut off for up to 12 hours. Thanks to the fact that we have two drivers per truck and that we found new routes, the delays have not been significant; only 4 of about 100 trucks suffered a more or less significant delay (between 8 and 10 hours), so we haven't been losing sleep over it."
According to the carrier, what the sector is more concerned about is the delay in the start of the citrus season due to the unusual temperatures recorded recently, which have also affected other crops. "We are more concerned about not being able to load the citrus volumes that would be normal for this time of the year, but the heat has delayed the ripening of citrus fruits and the market is very quiet," he concluded.
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