In recent weeks, the European transport sector has been offering return freight at rock-bottom prices. These are mostly prices that do not nearly cover transportation costs. In some cases, not even the price of diesel. Do these ridiculous prices also plague fruit and vegetable transporters?
"More trucks are off the roads and everyone is looking for work. I, therefore, sometimes come across shockingly low prices," says John Opstal of gebr. Opstal transport in the Netherlands. "We have not noticed this ourselves yet. We specialize in groupage loads going to Belgium and France. We also do airconditioned fruit and vegetable transport. These are less prone to competition than, for example, dry goods transportation. But it must be said that return freight prices have not been in line with the market for a long time already."
The low prices do, however, indirectly affect the sector. The coronavirus outbreak, after all, means there is less freight available. "Some days we have eight trucks on the road to France. And sometimes, half of these are empty on the return leg. I can do a return trip for €200/€300. But if I lose money, I would rather drive back empty. There are, however, other carriers on the market that abuse this situation. They drive for cheaper. I hope my fellow Dutch transporters will not do so," concludes John.
For more information:
Gebr. Opstal Transporten
2665 LP, Bleiswijk, the Netherlands
T: +31 (0) 103 330 228 or +31 (0) 614 680 522