Christmas Supply Chain Crisis In Australia Averted? | B2BE Blog

Has the Christmas supply chain crisis in Australia been averted?

Christmas Supply Chain Crisis In Australia Averted? | B2BE Blog

Supply chains in Australia and across the globe have been beginning to return to a state of pre-Covid, helping boost in-need economies. However, Svitzer, Australia’s largest tug operator threatened a lockout of around 600 workers at the end of November reminding the country of how fragile the supply chain process remains. Australia’s Fair Work Commission in Sydney blocked those plans but the dispute is an ongoing reminder for organisations on how if one link breaks down, the whole supply chain can fail. The problem is those big cargos are unable to move safely through ports without the assistance of tugs, with Svitzer servicing 17 of Australia’s key harbours. Labour issues within the country are currently one of the biggest ongoing threats to shipping lines, rail and trucking organisations.

Supply chain crisis in Australia

The commission’s intervention and barring of the plans averted what can only be imagined as a potential holiday crisis in Australia’s trade-exposed economy. Deliveries would have been delayed during what is the busiest trading period of the year. In addition, the stoppage would have also impacted cruise ships full of tourists looking to enjoy the sunny Aussie coasts during summertime in the South Pacific, where Christmas day is often popularly celebrated on the beach.

The dispute between Svitzer and the unions predates the pandemic when a three-year deal expired in 2019. The commission hasn’t shared the next steps to resolve the matter, however, whilst the holiday season might not be as chaotic as it could have been, the ongoing battle is giving unions a chance to highlight the downside of concentration in the maritime shipping industry.