Danish shipping giant Maersk Line has decided to divert vessel calls from the Port of Algeciras due to the planned strikes by Spanish dockworkers.
On February 24, Spain approved a royal decree on the port system reform which would enable ports to hire non-unionized stevedores instead of the unionized ones. Such practice would result in massive layoffs in the future.
Consequently, the country’s stevedores plan to stage strikes on March 6, 8, 10, 13, 15, 17, 20, 22 and 24.
According to Maersk Line, slow-downs began in all Spanish ports on February 24 and are expected to continue until the strikes start.
“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,” Maersk Line said.
The company has developed a contingency plan according to which it would reduce presence in Algeciras during the period of the industrial actions, using alternative ports in Europe and the Mediterranean.
Westbound vessels deployed in Maersk Line’s Asia-Europe and Middle East services normally calling Algeciras will be diverted to other facilities in the Mediterranean.
Eastbound vessels will for the time being continue to call Algeciras and eastbound transshipment connections will be made there, the company informed.