This is consequently leading to delays in the delivery of fruits and vegetables imported from overseas, as well as to considerable extra costs for importing companies, as they are forced to pay for storage at the port.
Although at first it was thought that this would be an isolated problem, it seems that the situation is going to last longer than expected; as a result, some of Spain’s main fruit and vegetable importers have been looking for alternative services via non-Spanish ports, such as the port of Rotterdam, in order to ensure that the supply is not brought to a halt. This undoubtedly entails higher logistics costs for Spanish horticultural companies.
The situation for suppliers and customers is thus marked by tension, given the uncertainty about whether it will be possible to fulfil the orders and how much these will cost. “We are facing a big problem, having already sold a commodity that we cannot supply,” explains a Spanish importer of South American, Central American and South African fruit.
“For now, we haven’t found any short-term solutions, other than making use of the services of other European ports in the Netherlands and Belgium, as well as assuming the extra costs to make sure we fulfil the commitments with our customers,” he adds.