HONG KONG: Shippers seek other routes amid port strike
As a strike by dockers at the Port of Hong Kong enters its fourth week, shippers are working on contingency measures to ensure distribution doesn't grind to a halt.
Workers from Kwai Chung Container Terminal walked out on 28 March over issues including pay - many claim they have not had a pay rise in 10 years - poor working conditions and the exploitation of outsourced workers.
The protests have led to lengthy delays for shipments to and from the world's third-largest container port, and ocean carriers have been forced to re-route some vessels to the neighbouring Chinese port of Shenzhen.
However, operator Hong Kong International Terminals (HIT) claims 'operations are currently at or above 80% capacity despite the industrial action.'
The Hong Kong Shippers' Council last week said it had arranged to divert some import and export cargo through ports in Guangdong, and that Guangdong customs would speed up clearance of diverted shipments.
With no end in sight to the Kwai Tsing dock strike, it is hoped that the contingency plan will ease the flow of goods and reduce the risk of delays as factories move into the peak summer season.
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