Maersk, Hapag warn customers, transshippers of Spanish dock

Time: 2017-03-06 13:54
MAERSK Line has warned customers of vessel rerouting, port omissions and additional transshipment as Spain's rotating docker strikes unfold to protest impending government port reforms, reports American Shipper.
"Reduced terminal productivity can already be experienced in Spanish ports and the situation is expected to continue," Maersk said.
"These actions will cause a serious impact on cargo flows in and out of Spain and more widely to our global network, especially due to the strategic importance of the port of Algeciras as a major transshipment port for cargo moving to/out of Europe, Africa and many other destinations," the carrier added.
"Westbound vessels on our Asia-Europe and Middle East services normally calling Algeciras will be diverted to other facilities in the Mediterranean where capacity has been secured and transshipment connections will be made there for cargo destined for Africa, Mediterranean, North Europe and Latin America, based on our existing network and additional capacity deployed during the contingency," Maersk said.
"Eastbound vessels will for the time being continue to call Algeciras and eastbound transshipment connections will be made there. We have also made special arrangements for Spanish import cargo taking into consideration various options available in the contexts of a port slowdown in Spain and consequent strike.
"Should your cargo be directly impacted by any of the mentioned changes, you will continue to receive relevant information and personalised communication providing all the details of the revised transport plan, including any changes to ETD or ETA of your cargo through the standard Maersk Line process for contingencies notification," Maersk said.
This follows a similar warning from Hapag-Lloyd that customers will be affected by strikes to protest the government's plan allow employers to hire non-union labour.
In Week 10, there will be a strike on March 6, 8 and 10 every other hour, starting 8am. In Week 11, there will be a strike on March 13, 15 and 17 every other hour, starting 8am. In Week 12, there will be a strike on March 20, 22 and 24 every other hour, starting 8am.
The Port of Bilbao announced a strike for the same dates but for complete 24 hour periods commencing each day at 8am.
Dockers have called the strikes to protest the conservative Popular Party (PP) government's port liberalisation bill.
The bill, which still requires parliamentary ratification, will likely result in layoffs and wage cuts of up to 60 per cent.
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