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COUNTRY REPORTSPAIN


United Heavy Lift (UHL) delivered a 142,000 cu m shipment of wind turbine blades from China to Spain onboard the deck carrier Zhi Xian Zhi Xing.


projects, and it is an uphill struggle to finish those that are under way.” Martínez added: “This political situation


affects how other countries see Spain, and investment possibilities here are very difficult to achieve – or very costly.” Various industries across Europe are


“facing a grey future”, according to Santiago Pérez-Torres Fernández, general manager at logistics company Pérez Torres Marítima (PTM). Tighter environmental legislation with financial consequences – carbon taxes, for instance – makes manufacturing an increasingly expensive business. Companies are moving production overseas, where regulations are less strict and energy costs are lower.


Excess cargo capacity Spain is not immune to the problem of excess capacity in the cargo market, either. There has been a concentration of shipowners as rates fell in the wake of the global financial crisis. Pérez-Torres Fernández expects “more of the same” in the next few years. He said: “Rates have risen a little, as consolidation has resulted in fewer vessels, but they have not risen enough.”


www.heavyliftpfi.com Foreign operators may be able to respond


more flexibly to changes in the supply-and- demand balance than those based in Spain, or even elsewhere in Europe. Still, Spain is a mature market, so


Pérez-Torres Fernández feels it is unlikely that foreign companies will be in competition with Spanish asset owners; pure freight forwarders, on the other hand, may be in a more difficult position. While Pérez-Torres Fernández expects


that industrial project cargo will continue to grow, driven primarily by demand from the wind energy sector, PTM is seeking work in other areas that are likely to remain stable in the long run, no matter how the political situation plays out. For example: “We are getting into the


animal feed market, which mostly involves imports, because this is a fundamental


Rates have risen a little, as consolidation has resulted in fewer vessels, but they have


not risen enough. – Santiago Pérez-Torres Fernández, PTM


market with large volumes and it is not going to disappear,” he explained. Spain currently exports large volumes of


metal fabrication equipment such as boilers, extractors, reactors and transformers, all of which require heavy lift expertise, to destinations around the world.


Exports “We also export production and extraction equipment for the oil and gas industry, photovoltaic plants, large infrastructure works, cars and machinery, as well as many other value-added goods for heavy industries,” said Diego Castillo, deputy general manager of shipping company Marguisa. Still, the most popular exports from the


country continue to be from the automotive industry. The country is the 16th-largest export economy in the world, according to the Economic Complexity Index, and the top three commodities exiting its ports include cars and vehicle parts, as well as refined petroleum. Indeed, Spain sees its fair share of ro-ro


cargo because of this, whether it is cars, goods vehicles or machinery. “Goods


May/June 2019 91


United Heavy Lift


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