News Alert: French Port Delays and Durban Port Delays UpdateOctober 23, 2017
French Port Delays
Delays at several ports in France due to a recent strike have occurred this month. The National Federation of Ports and Docks launched a call to strike at French ports on 18 and 19 October, which led to the suspension of work at the following ports: Marseille, Le Havre, Rouen, Nantes Saint-Nazaire, and Bordeaux. The strikes resulted in delays in the processing of shipments and potential additional costs.
Since then, British trippers and truckers have been able to move freely between the UK and France after a French lorry drivers’ dispute failed to create the chaos that had been feared. It had been thought that ports would be blockaded in the strike, which began on 19 October, but UK ferry and haulage companies reported that ports, including Calais, were blockade-free. Further reports stated that police had ordered strikers to remove blockades that had been set up on French inland roads.
“It’s very much business as usual, and the strikers seem to be leaving the ports alone,” said a spokeswoman for Dover-Calais ferry operator P&0 Ferries.
Durban Port Delays Update
As Arpin Group, Inc. reported on October 11, severe weather in Durban, South Africa, resulted in the container terminal not operating at full capacity. In addition to the delays caused by the storm, problems in the processing of containers prior to the storm were already causing setbacks.
Recently, the Durban Point Yacht Club reported that waste in the Durban Port is so bad that it’s becoming a health hazard, endangering divers repairing moorings affected by recent storms. This has contributed to the challenges of recovering the port, which includes the removal of plastic and other rubbish.
Port officials are still assessing the damage from the storm. The root cause in terms of mechanical or electrical issues is being investigated and addressed; the waste overflow is being treated with hydrogen peroxide and mechanical aeration of the canal.
Consequently, all shipments to or from Durban, as well as all operations to and from South Africa, are affected and a one-week delay at minimum is expected for all cargo. We expect additional charges may be assessed for port storage, demurrage, and various other charges on a case-by-case basis.
Your Arpin service team will be contacting all customers affected by the strike in France and storms in South Africa to set up individual contingency plans. We will continue to monitor both situations closely and will do everything possible to minimize delays and manage the expectations of the relocating families to the best of our ability.