Adventures under the Moroccan sun
Although Morocco is just a skip away from Spain, logistic companies are not very happy to receive requests to send goods to Morocco by road. If we ask our partners who would like to go to Morocco, only a few say yes. If you ask from people working in the transport sector, what is the most difficult destination in road transport, most say Russia and Ukraine. Some say Romania. In our opinion, it is hard to beat Morocco.
In the beginning of October, we loaded 3 pallets from Vantaa as express shipment, to ship the goods as DAP-shipment to the port of Tanger. At first, it seems like a simple task – first, you organise the customs procedure of exporting the goods, then, you book a declaration in Algeciras to go to the ship to Tanger. When coming off the ship, the goods have to be unloaded at the customs warehouse located in the free zone and you can take the ferry back to Spain the same day.
In real life, things never go so smoothly in Morocco, even if you have planned the trip very thoroughly. You can buy the ferry ticket only from a local agent. The communication with the agent is usually quite complicated. The truck has to be formalized as a temporary export vehicle. Getting every stamp and finishing every procedure takes up to half of a day in Morocco. There’s always some mix up – e.g., someone forgets to formalize that the truck has entered the country. It may take a day, or two, sometimes three…And the driver just has to sit there and wait.
We had planned to take the ferry from Algeciras on Friday morning, to be able to unload the goods before the weekend. But already on Thursday, the agent became unresponsive, the result of which was that the truck could take the ferry on Friday evening. Having heard that the truck is on the ferry, the agent said that they’re closed for the weekend and the driver must wait until Monday to come back. Our driver waited until Monday afternoon and took a ferry back to Spain in the evening.
When selling goods to Morocco, we advise to do it with EXW incoterm. If you do not have other possibilities besides DAP or DDP, be prepared to be patient, plan for extra time and unforeseeable additional expenses. There is no point in agreeing the exact arrival time of the shipment, as there are too many elements in the process that are not under your control.