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Felixstowe port strike could result in US$800 million in lost trade, says Russell Group

The proposed strike at the port of Felixstowe could result in over US$800 million in trade being disrupted according to the ALPS Marine analysis by Russell Group.

Clothing (US$82.8 million) and electronic components (US$32.3 million) will be the commodities that would be impacted the most by the strike, according to Russel Group's analysis, which was based on previous trade flows at Felixstowe in this August period. 

Over 1,900 members of the British trade union Unite will strike at the port from 21 August until 29 August in a dispute about a pay increase.

"Many leading businesses are concerned about the impact that the strike will have on supply chains.  It is taking significantly more time, for logistics and risk management experts to plan their strategies which means they have had to throw extra resources to address shipping issues, for example, that previously were not a problem," said Russel Group.

Many experts believe that because of the disruption at Felixstowe, trade will be diverted to smaller ports in the United Kingdom but also other international ports including Wilhelmshaven, Germany, which has a significantly higher trade inflow than Felixstowe at this same period, at around US$1 billion.  

Commenting on the launch of the Felixstowe figures, Suki Basi, Russell Group managing director, said, "The disruption at Felixstowe spells more uncertainty for businesses, consumers and governments alike. Ports across the globe facing congestion, due to a large backlog caused by the pandemic. As our analysis has shown today, these strikes could increase the backlog and in doing so, create even more delays, and the effects of this will only be registered in the coming weeks and months."

Meanwhile, more than 500 port operatives at the Port of Liverpool will also strike over pay, according to Unite.

Antonis Karamalegkos
Managing Editor

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