Logistics disarray as carriers omit Felixstowe

Port of Felixstowe

Global carriers have warned of potential disruptions as strike action at the Port of Felixstowe will go ahead.

More than 1,900 members of Unite union at Felixstowe will go on a eight-day strike from 21 August until 29 August in a dispute about a pay increase.

During unions and employers talks on 8 August, the port improved its position offering a £500 lump sum in addition to 7 per cent pay raise.

The union rejected the company’s settlement and refused further meetings.

In anticipation of the strike, 2M (Maersk and MSC) and Ocean Alliance (COSCO, CMA CGM and Evergreen) have amended their port rotations to reschedule vessel arrivals that were due during the strike period.

COSCO’s CSCL Brisbane and YM Evolution will omit calling at Felixstowe next week.

COSCO added that all import containers left on the quay during the strike would continue to accrue detention and demurrage charges after the contracted free period.

The Evergreen’s Ever Alot will finish operations just before the strikes start. The Ever Alp, initially due on 26 August, will anchor at quay until operations resume.

READ: World’s largest ship enters Port of Felixstowe

The Alliance (Hapag Lloyd, ONE, Hyundai Merchant Marine and Yang Ming) have yet to confirm their plans.

A recent analysis by Russell Group showed that the proposed strike at the Port of Felixstowe could result in over $800 million in trade being disrupted.

Data shows that clothing ($82.8 million) and electronic components ($32.3 million) will be the commodities that would be impacted by the strike. 

As Felixstowe is the UK’s largest container port, Ultra Large Container Vessel (ULCV) services across the region could also be impacted by upcoming strike action.

Felixstowe has handled 175 ULCVs in the last 12 months, compared to Southampton’s 80 and London Gateway’s 40.

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