APM Terminals has given its reasons for making 160 people redundant at its facility in Gothenburg, and in the process has urged the Swedish government to intervene or risk denting the local economy.
The Maersk affiliate has been in a tense fight with local dockworkers over pay for the past 18 months.
“This has been a very difficult but necessary decision caused by the Swedish Dockworker Union’s consecutive blockades and nine strikes for over a year resulting in several shipping lines no longer calling Gothenburg. Container volumes are down 20% from the union disruptions. Nordic supply chains have been affected from a cost and time impact too. We need immediate government intervention if Sweden is to protect its economy and ensure Swedish companies can grow and compete globally – and the Swedish consumer has access to affordable products on store shelves. The current port labour rules are over 40 years old and no longer meet today’s business realities where flexibility and stability at a port is vital to global shipping lines’ port selections. Cargo will always find the most efficient way to flow. Ports must compete or watch the business move elsewhere. Clearly, we have seen cargo volumes move elsewhere,” stated APM Terminals Gothenburg managing director, Henrik Kristensen.
Following the axing of the 160 staff, APM Terminals has said operations will now be run on a two-shift basis, with night service eliminated.
APM Terminals Gothenburg is Scandinavia’s largest container terminal. Approximately half of all Swedish container traffic moves through the facility.