German port strikes may trigger $6 billion trade setback

German union strike results in $6 billion setback

Port strikes at five critical German ports could lead to a $6 billion trade loss, according to Russell Group.

Russell’s ALPS Marine research discovered that the strikes affected items such as cars and people carriers $399 million, good transport vehicles $129 million, and pharmaceuticals $717 million.

Port workers went on strike for 24-to-48 hours at five main German ports: Hamburg, Bremerhaven, Bremen, Brake, and Emden.

The strike was called due to an impasse in negotiations between unions and employers.

According to Russell’s ALPS Marine study, Bremerhaven is one of the world’s busiest ports for vehicles and people carriers, with about $67.32 billion (£52.71 billion) imported and exported each year. 

READ: Failed bargaining triggers 24-hour warning strike at German Ports

Suki Basi, Russell Group’s Managing Director commented on the figures: “Stalled negotiations between unions and employees ultimately end up resulting in stalled production lines.

“That is a matter for the various parties involved in negotiations to resolve, but when such events occur the ripple effect touches many other links in the supply chain all the way from the manufacturers to ports, logisticians and ultimately the consumers and insurers which provide cover.

“The result is business interruption events at so many levels, which need to be monitored at an increasingly granular level to achieve business resilience and long-term sustainability.” 

In the US, the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) suspended negotiations over a new labour contract with the United States Maritime Alliance (USMX).

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