Watch Your Weight ! Overweight trucks coming from Spain.

With the orange fruit season now in full swing , no doubt there will be problems with overweight trucks caught out at the at the UK boarder or beyond coming from Spain.

When I first started European freight forwarding back in 94 , we experienced this problem too often . Normally every 4 trucks trucks ex Valencia and or Murcia either were overweight and or had damaged packaging which resulted in claims being put forward . We eventually had to stop loading Oranges . No problems with frozen food or any other consignments ex Spain . Only fruit .

Looking back now I have realised that we were simply working with the wrong clients .

It was in the interest of UK importers and Spanish shippers to load as much fruit as possible on the fridge trucks . To the shipper, so his invoice is larger and to the importer so the truck is cheaper . With rates back then regularly exceeding 3200.00 GBP ex Spain ,I can rembember 3800.00GBP Christmas week, ( and this was 94 remember! ) You could see where they were coming from . So back then, I dont think either party was interested in the weight of the lorry. Hence problems .

(I have heard from a customer recently that the shippers can now be fined if trucks are found to be overweight in Spain , If anyone can verify this please let me know. )

Since then obviously we have new clients who thankfully do care . There are some great Spanish shippers whom I have visited in Spain with customers and watched the trucks being loaded. And gained valuable insights .

My second question after rate to potential clients , is weight . As a haulier , forwarder , find out how many boxes of fruit per pallet , the weight of the boxes and add about half a tonne on for the pallet weight to be safe.

If your client cant tell you the above infomation then they obviously have not got a strong enough commercial relationship with their shipper . So my advice is ,dont load.

I have spent a lot of time in Spain and know many of the shippers have weighbridges . My second piece of advice is, use them . And if the truck is overweight , take the pallet off . If your client is a reasonable, responsible company , this will not be a problem.

So with fruit loads in particuar be vigilant , you may get great rates and then get hit with fines and charges in the UK , which negates any gain. Prevention really is better than cure .

Celebrating 20 years of successful freight forwarding this year . For help with your European shipments FLT ( LTL ,UK to Spain) , please contact us on 0131 203 3838.