Impact Of UK Port Strikes On Supply Chain Disruption | B2BE Blog

L'impact des grèves portuaires britanniques sur les perturbations de la chaîne d'approvisionnement

Impact Of UK Port Strikes On Supply Chain Disruption | B2BE Blog

This year the UK has seen an influx in public transport networks striking over pay negotiations. This hasn’t just stopped with the train industry, but industrial action has spread from the public transport network to ports around the country, including the United Kingdom’s busiest container port, Felixstowe.

Earlier this year, in August, more than 1,900 members of the Unite union took part in an eight-day strike at Felixstowe, in a dispute over pay. This particular port handles 40% of the UK’s container trade, equivalent to 4m containers a year. While the port’s management put contingencies in place to try and continue operations, this had a knock on effect on an already challenging global supply chain. The Russell Group, estimated that as much as 800mn of trade could be affected by this walkout.

Further port strikes in the UK fuelling supply chain issues

Following this action at Felixstowe, in September, 560 dock workers walked out for two weeks in dispute over pay and conditions at the Peel Ports owned hub, in Liverpool. The Liverpool port handles a significant amount of container freight coming into and out of Ireland to the United States and South America, with warnings of the strike having a knock-on effect for Irish supply chains.

The port strikes deal a fresh blow to the UK’s already fragile supply chains, with businesses fearing months of continued disruptions. As supplies continue to run slim, and companies are facing pressure to produce faster to meet the needs of growing demand, the question arises how will organisations overcome supply issues caused by the strikes?

Modern supply chains are complex webs of products, materials, shipments and orders that are heavily interconnected, so every delay or issue, such as prolonged strikes, have a domino effect. Shown clearly, with the port delays. However, with emerging technology, it’s more possible than ever for organisations to achieve better levels of visibility.

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