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Logistics group: Migration requires ‘emergency scenario’

EU

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“Intensive migration waves” and the relevant measures taken by EU member states has created “serious challenges” for stakeholder companies in the logistics sector, the Association of Hungarian Logistics Service Centers (MLSZKSZ) said in an announcement issued yesterday.

According to the association, unforeseen temporary closures of borders and limitations introduced in the transport of goods along railway lines have led to certain transport routes becoming unpredictable. The announcement adds that attacks against transport vehicles used by migrants for transportation have become more frequent.  

MLSZKSZ says it believes that should the “wave of migration” become more intense, large scale price increases in the logistics sector can be expected. In order to avoid such a situation, the association urges Schengen countries to come up with an emergency solution that would guarantee the free and safe movement of goods.

The announcement says that one of the traits of industrial production in present day Europe is that manufacturers keep nearly no stock at all in their warehouses, as such vast amounts of stocks are being transported on roads, railways and waterways all the time, and these goods need to arrive on time in order to maintain the continuous supply for production units.

“As a result of the obstacles that have evolved due to migration, the forwarding companies are forced to find alternative solutions and use shorter or longer detours so that they can transport the goods to their destinations. On the one hand this means an increase both in the price and in the time of transport, and on the other hand, it has a negative effect on the transport schedules, which become less predictable. The more expensive transport and the longer delivery times may result in price increases of the products in the short term, and for certain big production companies it could result in serious disruptions of supply in the long run,” Zsolt Fülöp, President of MLSZKSZ, said.

“If the transport company does not find a solution for delivering the product to its destination by the agreed deadline, it is going to lose markets and clients. The difficulties in supply may result in production losses, which may lead to diminishing revenues and less tax payments. The short term effects of these phenomena will be experienced in the countries concerned relatively soon,” the president added.

Furthermore, the association said that they believe the “migration wave” carries “serious security risks” as well. In reference to earlier mentioned examples, the association notes that “migrants” climb on and attack road and rail transport vehicles to reach their planned destination sooner. If the affected countries fail to manage the current influx of “immigrants in an appropriate way”, the association fears that “sooner or later attacks against logistic transport vehicles and bases may start with the intent of obtaining food or other goods”.

As a result, the association urges that the number of obligatory stops be reduced in countries especially affected by the wave of “migrants”. “Following recent tendencies one cannot exclude the possibility that in the future certain goods may only be transported with armed security escort within EU countries on the routes in question,” the association believes.

MLSZKSZ said it is assisting with the initiatives of the Hungarian Road Transport Association (MKFE) to obtain support from the European Union  in order to make up for the losses incurred from the migration crisis. At the same time the Association suggests extending the scope of support to rail freight transportation as well.

“In the event that the present situation prevails in the long run, support will not be a suitable solution” said Fülöp. “Instead, we should come up with a scenario for emergencies on a European level, which ensures the free flow of goods within Schengen borders. The scenario would specify the way in which the smooth flow of goods transport can be guaranteed across concerned countries, as well as with the tasks of the individual countries. Should the European Union fail to react in time, the countries directly affected should join forces and find a solution for the region,” Fülöp added.

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