A coordinated strike of Chilean ports by stevedores has hampered cargo activities in the South American nation.
The strike began in mid-March at Angamos, but has since spread to the ports of Antofagasta, Iquique, Mejillones, San Antonio, San Vicente, Lirquén and Coronel, the Chilean liner carrier CSAV said in a customer notice Thursday.
“As a consequence of the above described situation, port operations are temporally suspended in the aforementioned ports, and therefore we are monitoring the situation by service/ports and evaluating all possible alternatives, in order to resolve the restrictions arising from this matter,” CSAV said, calling the strikes a force majeure event.
The strike reportedly began as a result of a decision by the Chilean port operator Ultraport to cut workers’ shifts by half an hour by eliminating their lunch break.
The strikes have already affected the movement of copper, a key Chilean commodity, and have the potential to impact the export of Chilean fruit to the United States. According to one report, as many as 2.3 million boxes of fruit headed to the United States could be affected by the strike. - Eric Johnson