Industrial Actions at Two Key Ports Threaten to Cripple UK Supply Chains


A second strike at Felixstowe will overlap Liverpool action, overwhelm London Gateway and Southampton.


Dockworkers at the Port of Felixstowe have confirmed a second wave of strikes after the port’s owner/operator, Hutchinson, shut down talks over a new contract.

The industrial action is set to run from September 27 to October 5 and will overlap the strike taking place at the Port of Liverpool from September 19 to October 3.

The strike actions at both ports will quickly overwhelm other UK gateways, such as London Gateway and Southampton, lead to lengthy delays, and significantly disrupt the UK’s supply chain.  The backlog caused by the industrial actions is also excepted to exacerbate the already high levels of congestion across North Europe and will create more delays that will severely hinder international maritime trade.

Hutchinson abruptly ended negotiations earlier this week after refusing to improve a pay offer and announced it would impose a pay deal on its workforce, which its workers argue is a forced “real terms pay cut.”  Meanwhile, the port operator generated £79m in profits in 2021, with latest accounting suggesting a turnover of £30bn so far this year.

Union spokesman, Bobby Morton, placed the blame on Hutchinson, saying “The latest strike action is entirely of Felixstowe’s own making.  Rather than seeking to negotiate a deal to resolve the dispute, the company instead tried to impose a pay deal.”

There is growing concern among industry insiders that the repeated industrial actions at ports in the UK could “reduce the country to a feeder route.”

OCEANAIR will continue to monitor the situation and publish updates as they become available.