EN ROUTE

Spain, France, Germany I 2009

On a cold Monday in January, Cesar set off on his usual route. He was hauling 36 tons of oranges and lemons from Vega Baja in Alicante, southern Spain, to the Viktualienmarkt food market in Munich, Germany, a round trip that usually takes six days.

The economic vicissitudes of international commerce in general, and of business owners and legislators in particular, determine transit times for professional drivers on an international route. The law establishes nine hours as the maximum allowable driving time per day and a speed limit of 90 kilometers per hour, but given the inexistence of road transport workers unions, both bosses and clients demand to the drivers timings that turn to be incompatible with the electronic logging device fitted in the vehicle, and drivers are who have to face responsability towards bosses, clients and police.

When Cesar returned to his home from that trip, he had been gone for twelve days, driven 6000 kilometers, and had had to deal with accidents, unexpected situations, endless waits and a tortuous route between industrial parks and markets in Alicante, Barcelona, La Junquera, Munich, Frankfurt, Paris, Lille and Marseille. Undoubtedly, the laws, the companies and the current economic situation do not help, while drivers remain living and working en route.

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