Port of Hamburg Suspends Large Ships Due To Workers' Strike
On March 22, the Hamburg Port Authority (HPA) announced that the port has had to close the port to large ships due to a strike announced by the Verdi union over wages.
It was announced that unionized workers at the Port of Hamburg plan to strike from 17:30 on March 22 to 06:00 on March 24 to protest wage issues. The strike will affect the crews of pilot transfer vessels, which means that large ships will not be able to be piloted in and out of the port.
A spokesman for the HPA said, "Due to the announced strike warning which is expected to cause massive restrictions, the government has decided to block the Elbe River from around 10:00 this morning, requiring piloted vessels to dock until further notice."
Some 18 Hamburg-bound vessels are known to be affected by the incident. The number of ships unable to leave port is even harder to quantify due to the suspension of logistical services.
Verdi plans to continue the protest until 6 a.m. Friday, and the union has also called for workers at Hamburg Airport to strike as part of a public sector wage dispute.
Industry cautions that even after the strike ends on March 24, maritime disruptions and processing delays could continue for days as port authorities struggle to clear backlogs of cargo.
More strikes are likely in the coming weeks, with wage negotiations set to take place from March 27-29.