International land cargo carriers have been hit hard by the socio-political crisis facing Nicaragua so far and foresee the reduction in more than 20% in the service of movement of merchandise, which has been compounded with the closure of the main roads in Costa Rica by protesters against the tax reform plan of that country.
Although the almost permanent roadblocks have been suspended, the opponents of the reform are in the third week of the strike, while talks between the government and the public sector unions, mediated by the Catholic Church, with the objective of reaching a consensus for a dialogue continue.
For Nicaragua that situation according to The President of the Association of Transporters of Nicaraguans (ATN), Marvin Altamirano, the impact has not been so catastrophic, but that implies more payment of per diem of drivers who stayed longer than expected in Costa Rica during the protests.
“There is always shrinkage in the days of delays; however, we do not have information on how much was the loss due to the transfer of a refrigerated cargo (…), but it could be 25% in the perishable loss,” detailed Altamirano.
At the same time, he mentioned that the majority of freight moving between Costa Rica and Nicaragua is perishable and the places with the greatest problem for the free movement of their units were in Limón and Guanacaste.
“There was a delay of three to four days and there was a reduction in perishables, it could be up to 50%, what was (headed) for Limón, that load was not dispatched until the problem was solved, but no effect arises because if the refrigeration was connected,” Altamirano added.
For every day that a unit is stranded, a minimum of US$100 is lost, Altamirano estimates that 1,500 to 2,000 units of cargo a day were affected.
This year, this sector expects to reach the 4.75% growth registered in 2017, because only 80% of the sector is working and they calculate the losses of 20%, to such an extent that the units were not nationalized.
“By now (at this point in the year) we would had more nationalized vehicles, there were about 10 companies that would purchased bought fleets, but so far only three companies have bought and that because they were negotiated before the crisis and the occasional individual carrier that is doing their shopping,” Altamirano explained.