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Mercosul boxship stormed by militant stevedores

Seven stevedores stormed the 2,474 teu containership Mercosul Suape at the port of Santos yesterday.

The stevedores were part of 2,000 staff who had gone on strike at the Brazilian port that morning as pay negotiations with their employers had stalled. The seven men then stepped up their protest, boarding the light blue coloured ship, at which point federal police were called and the protesters arrested. Security at the port has since been heightened, authorities say.

There are two more days of strikes planned, which may affect operations at the port, located near Sao Paolo.

MarineTraffic data shows the Mercosul ship left Santos early this morning and is heading south to the port of Itajai.

Mercosul Line is owned by France’s CMA CGM, who acquired the company from Maersk in December last year. Maersk had to shed the company in order for its acquisition of Hamburg Sud to go through.

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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