AsiaContainersPorts and Logistics

Korean trucker strike escalates, port throughput numbers slide

An escalating strike by truckers belonging to the Cargo Truckers Solidarity union in South Korea is having a very significant effect on port volumes at Asia’s fourth largest economy this week.

Into its fourth day, the strike movement aimed today to prevent raw materials getting to semiconductor and petrochemical plants, while also targeting container movements with many roads blocked.

At Busan port, which accounts for 80% of the country’s container activity, traffic was down to a third of normal levels on Friday, a government official said.

At Incheon port, it has fallen to 20% of normal levels while at the port for Ulsan, the industrial hub where much of the strike action has occurred, container traffic has been completely suspended since Tuesday.

The union said a meeting with the government on Friday ended without an agreement on better pay and they would meet again on Saturday.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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