Apr 23, 2020

Truck Traffic in Brazil down 45% due to Covid-19 Crisis

Author: Michael Cordonnier/Soybean & Corn Advisor, Inc.

Even though transportation has been deemed an essential service by the Brazilian government, the amount of trucks on the highways of Brazil has continued to decline due to the measures taken to slow the spread of Corvid-19.

According to the company NTC & Logistica, the amount of cargo transported by truck last week in Brazil was down 45% compared to before the Covid-19 crisis. Two weeks ago it was down 43.9% and in mid-March, the amount of cargo transported on Brazilian highways was down 26.1%.

NTC & Logistica conducted the survey with more than 50 members of the National Land Transporters Agency (NTC). Truck transport is by far the most important mode of transportation in Brazil responsible for approximately 60% of all the cargo moved in Brazil.

The amount of agribusiness cargo transported by truck was down 33.7% last week compared to 23.5% the prior week. A lot of drivers are reluctant to do long hauls out of fear that basic services such as food and fuel might not be available.

To address this problem, the government continues to insist that transportation is an essential service and that all gas stations, truck stops, and restaurants should stay open for take-out service.

The transportation sector is requesting assistance in the form of more operating capital with a longer grace period before payments are due, a suspension of taxes and tolls, increased lines of credit from BNDES (the National Development Bank), and a suspension of loan payments for the duration of the crisis. The transportation sector contends that they are doing as best as they can to keep products moving throughout Brazil.