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How port strikes have prompted the need for cargo protection

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Recent strike action has left major terminals around the country gridlocked as port workers petition for pay rises, causing significant disruption to cargo imports and exports, and leaving many wondering when the standoffs will end.

Dock movements have come to a grinding halt, causing expensive delays and forcing container lines to divert vessels to alternate terminals as Australia’s Patrick Terminals face strike action from their employees with the MUA demanding 6% annual pay rises each year for the next four years, in an Industrial Action in Sydney, Brisbane, Fremantle and Melbourne.

Our National Cargo Product Manager, Daniel Morrison explains how strikes are impacting Australia and how to protect your business operations.

“The strikes have now caused major congestion at Port Botany with production at Patrick Terminal’s cut by 40% in just one week and has seen shipping lines impose congestion charges as a result of the delays, costing importers hundreds of dollars per container,” says Daniel.

With delays of up to nine days as of the 11th September, these are expected to grow by approximately half a day every day this industrial action continues, and so too will the supply chain disruptions and negative impact to landside logistics operations and container management – which the CTAA is now monitoring closely.

“Not only do strikes cost everyone a considerable amount of money but they disrupt supply chains and economies, which is something we are already seeing enough of during the current global pandemic.

“Strikes are not always something that immediately come to mind when thinking about possible interruptions to shipping and it probably isn’t high on many people’s priority lists, but it can have devastating impacts if your cargo is caught up in the middle of a port strike.

“The best that importers and exporters can do to protect their business and cargo under these circumstances is ensure they have insurance.

“Whether a strike is happening here or on the other side of the world, the nature of sea trade means that supply chains will slow and anyone who calls at that port or has imports from or exports to that country, could be affected, so insurance is vital,” says Daniel.

Marine Protect’s suite of marine insurance provides comprehensive coverage for damage and diversion expenses caused by strikes and can be tailored to suit your operational needs.

Cover can be provided for damage to insured cargo caused by strikers and locked out workmen and our Combined Cargo policy automatically includes an extension for Strikes Diversions expenses.

This extension provides cover for up to $50,000 of expenses incurred in the event goods are discharged at a port other than the intended port of discharge due to a strike, protecting our customers against unforeseen costs to have their goods delivered to the final destination from the alternate port.

Contact your local NTI representative today to lodge a claim or call our specialist team on 1800 684 669.