The Port of Liverpool has announced its plans to restructure its containers division and will next week start a redundancy consultation process.
The major container port in the United Kingdom said the decision was “extremely regrettable but now unavoidable, given the economic backdrop”.
"The unitised cargo market is experiencing a significant decline in volume due to several factors which underpin the bleak outlook on the global economy; with rising interest rates, higher energy costs and weakening consumer demand for manufactured and imported goods," said Port of Liverpool in a statement.
Meanwhile, hundreds of port workers, port operatives and engineers have announced strikes in recent weeks over pay.
A spokesperson for Peel Ports Group, operator of the Port of Liverpool, commented, “We have seen an increasing decline in the movement of containerised cargo for Liverpool over the last few months, in line with industry figures which show a 4.6% drop in volume across Europe. This, together with a recent sharp fall in container vessel charter rates of around 50%, indicate a rapid decline in throughput is expected over the next few months.
“Whilst this is an extremely regrettable situation, as a responsible employer, we need to restructure now in order to minimise the potential greater impact the downturn in container business will have on jobs, further down the line.
“We are exploring a number of different options to try and protect as many jobs as possible, including redeploying staff in other areas of the business which are less exposed to the economic crisis.”