CLIENT ADVISORY: DP World Australia and MUA Dispute Continues
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In the midst of an already complex global shipping landscape, the ongoing industrial dispute between DP World Australia and the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) is exacerbating challenges for exporters and importers, significantly impacting the productivity and competitiveness of Australia's ports. Due to the dispute, some vessels are experiencing up to ten days of delays in berthing.
What We Know
- DP World Australia is a major port operator, managing container terminals in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Fremantle for up to 40% of Australia’s maritime freight.
- The MUA is asking for a 16 per cent wage increase over two years for DP World workers.
- The current dispute, which began in October 2023, sees some vessels experiencing up to ten days of delays in berthing, hampering importers' ability to swiftly bring their goods to market. These delays are expected to extend should the strike continue. Retailers are already feeling the impact, facing shortages in crucial stock items, leading to potential sales losses.
- The situation escalated late last week as the MUA implemented full work bans at DP World's key terminals in Sydney, Brisbane, and Fremantle, with limited work being carried out at the Melbourne terminal.
- DP World has actively lobbied the Federal Government to intervene and put an end to the ongoing industrial action. This week, Australia’s Workplace Relations Minister Tony Burke, has ruled out using ministerial powers to intervene.
As the DP World-MUA dispute continues, the ripple effect is being felt globally, with significant repercussions on shipping schedules, particularly with our Asia Pacific Trade Partners. Vessels are unable to meet future schedules, resulting in service cancellations and reduced shipping capacity, just as the industry gears up for Chinese New Year.
SEKO are continuing to monitor the situation closely and work with impacted customers and transport partners to mitigate the impact of any residual cargo schedule delays. If you have any specific questions about your freight shipments, contact your SEKO representative directly.
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