On 26 and 27 May, the 45th General Assembly of the Association of International Road Transport (ASTIC) was held, where rising fuel prices and concerns about the lack of drivers were highlighted. 

 

Marcos Basante, president of ASTIC, asked the government to extend the discount of 20 cents per litre of fuel as there are distortions in prices and it is not being applied in several places, so on 2 June, the government extended the discount for three more months. 

 

The energy transformation was also mentioned at the meeting. The road transport sector has been investing in more efficient vehicles and other factors for more than a decade, which has led to a reduction in CO2 emissions over the last ten years of more than 20% per tonne-kilometre produced. For this reason, the president of ASTIC protested that the subsidies granted are only for environmentally friendly, electric vehicles and that they should also be available for trucks using Euro 6 diesel.

 

The war in Ukraine has caused energy prices to soar. Diesel has continued to rise and already accumulated 35% in the first four months of the year, which accelerates the ecological transition in the road freight transport sector away from dependence on fossil fuels. 

 

Ramón Valdivia, vice-president of ASTIC, remarked that the industry is committed to green hydrogen and electric trucks, but will continue to use natural gas and biofuels until electrons can move a truck beyond 800 km. He stressed that they must be realistic and that the elimination of internal combustion engine trucks is not feasible at the moment. 

 

On the other hand, there was also time to discuss the historical claims of the sector that have occurred in recent months. The customer-transporter situation is changing, a balance of power is beginning to emerge. They now have more bargaining power thanks to the work of CNTC, law 13/2021, royal decree-law 3/2022, royal decree-law 6/2022 and the line of guarantees. In addition, Jaime Moreno, sees an optimistic future as the demand for freight continues to increase and they will try to make the transport profession more attractive.