Late in May 2018, Brazil edged closer to collapse. As truckers downed tools in protest against rising diesel prices, the country all but stopped. According to early estimates, Brazilian agribusiness lost over BRL 5 billion owing to the industry’s inability to distribute produce and receive much-needed supplies. The true impact of the strike, however, has yet to be assessed. According to the Institute of Applied Economics, the strike hit Brazil’s industrial activity harder than the 2008-2009 global economic crisis.
The crisis shed light on an age-old problem in Brazil: the country is extremely dependent on trucks for cargo transportation. It also furthered the image crisis of Michel Temer’s administration – which already boasts the worst approval ratings in Brazil’s democratic history.
But no one can accuse Mr. Temer of not trying to turn things around – even if, so far, he has spectacularly failed at every turn. His latest attempt is a National Logistics Plan, which promises to lower Brazil’s dependence on trucks for cargo transportation.