Spanish car manufacurer’s federation Anfac has slammed the government’s failure to liberalise the country’s ports services for the automobile industry, saying the measure will further affect its competitiveness.

Anfac claimed the state had pre-agreed to liberalise port services during a draft version of the new ports law but it eventually caved in under port worker pressure against it.

“A great opportunity has been lost,” Anfac managing director Luis Valero said in  statement, adding manufacturers in Europe’s third-largest car making country were disappointed with the outcome.

Liberalising Spain’s eight ports, which moved as many as 3m cars during the economic boom, was one of a three-prong strategy the industry launched to lower the country’s high logistic costs, which add 25% to a car’s assembly bill. The other two envisage improvements to the rail and transport network.

Anfac said the measure would encourage manufacturers to make less use of the ports, especially if rail transport improves quickly.