Port Strike in Germany

March 22, 2023

For information on the Transportation strike throughout Germany on March 27th click here

Call for Strike Action in Germany

Trade union Verdi has called for employees of the port administration to a warning strike from Wednesday, 5.30 p.m. until Friday, 6 a.m.

An HPA spokeswoman explained: "Due to the expected massive restrictions caused by the announced warning strikes, the HPA ( Hamburg Port Authority ) has decided to close the Elbe for vessels requiring pilotage from about 10 a.m. today until further notice."
All ships with a length of 90 meters or a width of 13 meters and more are affected. The closure is necessary because the so-called pilot transfer boats are to go on strike and the pilots can no longer reach the large ships.
According to the latest information, about 18 ships bound for Hamburg are affected by the closure. 

The union has also called on workers at Hamburg airport to walk out as part of the public sector wage dispute.

Agreement reached between Ver.di and ZDS

Further to recent strike action in Germany's ports, it has been reported that an agreement has been reached in the 10th round of collective bargaining with the Central Association of German Seaport Companies (ZDS) and the United Services Union (Ver.di). A pay increase has been negotiated that meets the requests of the union ahead of increased inflation. 

Strike Action announced in Felixstowe and Liverpool in September... read more here

UPDATE August 12, 2022

Germany Port Strike Update

Negotiations on the collective agreements for port workers in the North Sea ports remain inconclusive.

After around eight hours of talks on Wednesday, the trade union Verdi and the Central Association of German Seaport Operators (ZDS) could not agree on a joint solution. Now the pressure to reach an agreement is growing for both parties.

The last date set by the courts will take place in two weeks. Until then, new token strikes are ruled out. If both parties fail to compromise in this tenth round of negotiations, the port workers could strike again. 
Both sides gave a controversial assessment of the state of negotiations. "We have come closer in today's negotiation, but we are still apart on some points. Based on the steps taken today, we aim to reach a joint result on August 22," the ZDS told DVZ on Wednesday evening.

Verdi initially did not comment on the status of negotiations. Later, the union expressed disappointment at the low level of convergence. 

UPDATE August 09, 2022

A court ruling in Germany prevents the port workers in the Port of Hamburg and Bremerhaven from striking until the unions and port workers' reps have concluded the 10th round of negotiations. Negotiations are expected to be completed by the 22nd of August, 2022.

In July, port workers in Germany held strikes that impacted the handling of container and cargo vessels in German ports affecting Hamburg, Emden, Bremen, Bremerhaven, Brake, and Wilhelmshaven.

UPDATE July 13, 2022

Port workers strike in Germany - latest information

Port of Hamburg at nightUPDATE: Further strikes are planned on Thursday 14th and Friday 15th July and will continue until 6 am on Saturday 16th July, according to the German press. 

In the sixth round of negotiations, port workers have requested pay increases due to inflation. With each strike, the situation at German ports worsens with increasing port congestion, waiting times, and yard occupancy issues.

Almost three weeks ago, the German port workers 24h strike impacted the handling of container and cargo vessels in German ports affecting Hamburg, Emden, Bremen, Bremerhaven, Brake, and Wilhemshaven. Andreas Braun, EMEA Ocean Freight Director, spoke to CNBC's Lori Ann Larocco with an update on the situation and its implications. Listen in here.

We expect the current strikes to also impact congestion and waiting times at other European ports, particularly Rotterdam and Antwerp. 

Please reach out to your Crane Worldwide representative or get in touch here should you need further advice on this matter.  

UPDATE July 4, 2022

European Port Update

The current strikes are impacting the ports in Germany, including Hamburg and Bremerhaven, port congestion is increasing, waiting time for vessels waiting to berth and yard occupancy increasing which makes it difficult for importers to collect their cargo and for exporters to get empty containers to load their goods... "

Listen in to Andreas Braun, Ocean Product Director EMEA speaking on the latest information regarding European Port Status on CNBC's State of Freight..."U.S. importers need to look four to five weeks in advance to see if there is a vessel available... "

Get in touch if you need advice for your ocean freight shipments.

UPDATE June 23, 2022

Warning Strike in ports in Germany today - 24 hour strike

Port workers in Emden, Bremerhaven, Bremen, Brake, Wihelmshaven, and Hamburg were called upon to participate in strike action this Thursday in Germany as wage negotiations failed to reach a resolution on Tuesday. 

The warning strike in Hamburg is accompanied by a demonstration in the city center.

Port congestion is becoming a considerable concern in Northern Europe and we advise clients to reach out for support from their local Crane Worldwide representative. 

UPDATE June 15, 2022.

Port Strike in Germany - Update

Negotiations between German port employers and dockworkers trade union Verdi ended without a result on Saturday after 10 hours.

The union described a revised offer from the Central Association of German Seaport Companies (ZDS) as “inadequate.” A new date for further negotiations needs to be found. Shipping lines now fear that there will be more calls by the union for “warning strikes “ in the next couple of days which will put even more pressure on the stressed situation.

Vessels still continue to pile up in front of the german ports increasing to some 60 vessels waiting to berth. A significant amount of containers are now already en route to Europe from Asia which will further exacerbate the current situation. 

Rotterdam and Antwerp are also already heavily congested and have already declined to take any transshipment cargo for German ports if the conflict in the German ports further escalates.

Yard occupancy in all major European ports has reached a level above 90%.

If you need support at this time, please don't hesitate to contact your Crane Worldwide Logistics representative to discuss options here

UPDATE June 10, 2022

Port Strike in Germany

Strikes to proceed in German ports due to a Union strike. As per coverage in the German press today, 150,000 containers are already waiting to be shipped at German ports and the strike will further exacerbate the situation.

A demand for increased pay is at the heart of the strike, with an increase in hourly rate and inflation compensation requested by the Union.

In Hamburg port alone, approximately 5,000 workers could go on strike according to an article published today in Bild.

We expect major delays in loading and unloading of vessels in the coming days. Please contact your local Crane Worldwide representative should you need assistance. Our global directory of offices is available here

Due to the Zero Covid policy in China and the lockdown over the past few months, as Crane Worldwide Logistics has covered in recent weeks in Industry Insight, disruption in Shanghai continues.

In addition, due to the conflict in Ukraine, the China to Europe rail freight service is problematic. Alternative routing has been provided via the Middle Corridor, further information here.

Please don't hesitate to reach out to the Crane Worldwide team for support at this time.

Air freight from Europe to USA options are available. Please see our latest update for more information here.


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