SHIPPING & MARINE | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

Strike finally paralyzes Hong Kong port

Average berthing time now at 50 hours from the normal level of three hours.

The strike by contractual port workers demanding a pay raise in Hong Kong International Terminals has reached its second week. The discussion between port workers and their employer continues but there is no sign of an immediate resolution.

Lloyd’s List Intelligence said 110 containerships were bound for Hong Kong at the start of the week. Of these, six ships are larger than 10,000 TEU; nine are between 8,000 and 10,000 TEU and 13 have capacity of 5,000 to 8,000 TEU.

HKIT handles more than half of the containers at the port, the third largest in the world. The numbers don’t include ships that have already signaled their intention to bypass the port.

These vessels are diverting to nearby ports such as Shenzhen and Kaohsiung. Lloyd’s says Mitsui OSK Lines has diverted six vessels away from Hong Kong; Evergreen, four and K Line, two.

K Line estimated that around 100 vessels would need berth space in the three days from today and 40 might have to skip Hong Kong.

A worst-case scenario will see major ports in Asia and Europe feel the impact of the delays when vessels now calling at Hong Kong arrive later than scheduled.

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