Thursday, May 26, 2011

Trucks of convenience?

In the early part of the 20th century American ship owners, frustrated with increased regulation and high labour costs, initiated the practice of registering their vessels in Panama. The practice later became known as 'flags of convenience', and these days nearly half the world's merchant fleet are registered in lands foreign to their country of ownership.

Now, I could be completely wrong, but I rather have the impression that a similar practice has been adopted by the international road haulage industry. With increasing regularity collections made at our bodega are made by trucks, very often registered in Ireland, and nearly always with an eastern European driver.

I often rush outside hoping to enjoy a bit of conversation in English, only to realise that the driver's English is even worse than my Spanish (which I'm ashamed to admit is still not that good).

So, what's the story behind this I wonder? Almost certainly a method for cutting costs?

Footnote: This post was based on a collection made at the bodega yesterday, and we have since had another collection this morning. Today's odd combination is as follows:

Tractor unit: Dutch
Trailer unit: Belgium
Driver: Ukrainian
Wine: Spanish
English speakers: None

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