Spain and Portugal (Linde Ibérica) – specialists for tailor-made power systems
Its extraordinarily beautiful coasts and the fashionable metropolises of Madrid and Barcelona make Spain one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations. The economy also profits from this: following the recession of recent years, tourism has made a major contribution to economic recovery in Spain. In the meantime the country even boasts one of the highest growth rates in the eurozone. Nevertheless, the labour market situation remains difficult.
The most important industries in Spain include not only trade, but also logistics. In addition, a crucial role is played by agriculture and the food industry. These businesses are rather volatile and that has a direct impact on the industrial truck sector: the demand is primarily for rental fleets that enable customers to respond flexibly to fluctuations in their order books.
Portugal is characterized by a unique history and landscape. Lisbon and Porto are among the most sought after cities for holidays and events across Europe, the Algarve beach tourism is a reference internationally. However, Portugal was hit by the recession of the recent years and could only slowly rebalance its economy after the financial assistance plan started in 2011. However, in 2015, the GDP grew by 1.5 % and the forecast for growth in 2016 is 1.7 %. The unemployment rate has dropped from 17 % at the peak of the crisis to 12.7 % currently. The main Portuguese industries are manufacturing, in sectors such as footwear, textiles, automotive or paper. Agriculture also plays an increasingly decisive role.
Current economic situation in Spain
- In the 4th quarter of 2015 the unemployment rate was 20.9 %
- The 2014 budget deficit amounted to 5.7 % of GDP, or 5.8 % taking into account assistance for banks
- In 2014 the national debt rose to 97.6 % of GDP
(Source: German Foreign Ministry)
Current economic situation in Portugal
- In the 4th quarter of 2015 the unemployment rate was 12,7 %
- The 2015 budget deficit amounted to 3 %, or 4,4 % if we consider the assistance plan for banks.
- In 2015 the national debt rose to 127,7 % of GDP
(Source: Instituto Nacional de Estatística (INE))
Linde Material Handling has been active in the Iberian Peninsula since the 1960s; roughly 30 years later, its Spanish and Portuguese markets were merged. In addition to the headquarters in Pallejà (Barcelona), Linde Spain also maintains offices in Madrid, Ciudad Real, Burgos, Valladolid, Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, Seville, Badajoz, Valencia, Lisbon and Porto. In 2015, a total of 26,000 units were sold in the Iberian markets of Spain and Portugal. Warehouse trucks were a dominant segment standing for roughly two thirds of the overall market demand, followed by electric counterbalanced trucks with one quarter and IC trucks making up the remainder.
Power systems that increase safety, productivity and sustainability
Rental solutions and used trucks have played an increasingly important role for Linde Ibéria because of the difficult economic conditions in recent years. Furthermore, the food industry and agriculture are of fundamental importance to the company – above all, wine merchants usually own extensive fleets of vehicles that need to be efficiently managed. In addition, climatic conditions in Spain and Portugal are a central factor: high temperatures call for air-conditioned vehicles and that increases demands on the power supply. Finding the right power system is therefore crucial for many Spanish and Portuguese companies. Against this background, Linde Iberia offers its customers extensive support in selecting appropriate power systems. While new technological solutions primarily make it possible to improve vehicle safety and productivity and control processes more efficiently, established power systems such as conventional lead-acid batteries still offer considerable potential. In their selection of power systems, however, Spanish and Portuguese companies are focusing not only on economy and productivity, but also increasingly considering issues of sustainability and using their vehicle fleets to achieve sustainability targets. That is why Linde Ibéria also offers its customers support in analysing the sustainability of the respective power system. The environmental footprint of each product can be evaluated with the aid of a specially certified life cycle assessment (LCA).
One customer example
A Spanish customer in the car industry was able to achieve significant savings in several cost areas as a result of Linde Spain support in optimising its power system. Against the background of three-shift operation and high safety and environmental protection standards in the automotive industry, Linde Spain introduced “ultra-fast charging” at the customer’s plants. This involves an alternative charging system that reduces fault-prone battery changes, facilitates more efficient energy use and prevents overloading of batteries. The new solution enabled the customer to charge batteries during existing shift breaks and reduce the time lost and personnel costs of complicated battery changes. As a result of the increase in charging efficiency, the customer also saved energy costs and required fewer spare batteries. In all, the reorganisation achieved savings of over 300,000 euros at a total of three sites.