Rhenus News

The Balearic Islands increase their dependence on mainland imports and international exports

An analysis by Rhenus Logistics shows the strategic importance of logistics for the Balearic economy, given the growing demand from tourists and the industry's increasing global sales.

The Balearic Islands are buying more products from mainland Spain and selling more abroad. An analysis carried out by the Rhenus Group, one of the leading globally-operating logistics service providers also specialised in the Balearic Islands, shows that the growth of the Balearic economy has led to an all-time high in freight volumes, both in terms of traffic with Spain and trade flows with the rest of the world.

In terms of transport with the mainland, imports account for up to 90 percent of trade activity, confirming the importance of this link in securing the islands' supply chain. International flows are more balanced, with 53 percent of exports and a positive trade balance for the sixth consecutive year. It shows a change in trend in the overall flows of the Balearic Islands, which since 2017 have been exporting more than buying in foreign markets.

The Rhenus Group study looks at the contribution of logistics to the dependency of these traffics in a region that also faces unique challenges, as Andreu Gutiérrez, Country Sales Director Road of Rhenus Logistics in Spain, explains: "Managing logistics in an archipelago adds complexity to the whole operation and, in the case of the Balearic Islands, there is also the challenge of dealing with the 16 million tourists who visit the islands every year.

The rapid increase in demand is particularly intense during the summer months when the population of the Balearic Islands doubles to more than two million people. In this sense, the supply chain faces the challenge of meeting the needs of residents and tourists. "The ability to anticipate and properly manage this increase, coordinating the flow of goods, is a key logistical challenge that this region is constantly facing,"  says the Rhenus Logistics analysis.

On the other hand, the diversification of the Balearic Islands' exports, both in terms of products and markets, shows the competitiveness that logistics has contributed to, with the Balearic economy tripling its foreign sales in the last ten years. This internationalisation process has created new business opportunities for Balearic entrepreneurs. They are increasingly trading with destinations like the USA and China.