Freight News: Week of April 3rd, 2024

Transport Workers in Finland Extend Strike

Finland’s trade unions announced that they are extending the strike to April 8th. It was originally scheduled to end on Monday, April 1st. The unions say it will continue until its demands were met.

Cargo operations at Finland’s ports, as well as the railroads, continue to be mostly stopped. Unions say they are willing to pause the strike when the government “shows understanding for the workers’ concerns.”

Those involved in these actions are the Automotive and Transport Workers’ Union (AKT), the Service Trade Union (PAM), the Construction Union, the Public and Welfare Union (JHL), and the Electricity Union.

Labor reform is one of the key issues in this strike, as Finland’s government announced plans to favor local work agreements over centralized bargains, limit political strikes, cut social welfare and make it easier to terminate contracts, Reuters reports.

The Confederation of Finnish Industries (EK), who represents the employers, told factory workers a week into the strike that their wages could be suspended as a result of the strike action’s knock-on impacts and factory closures, the Maritime-Executive reports.


The Baltimore Bridge Collapse, East Coast Ports Extending Hours

On March 26th, around 1:30am, the Dali cargo ship hit Baltimore’s Francis Scott Bridge. Since this incident, the Port of Baltimore has closed inbound and outbound vessel traffic, but truck operations at terminals inside the port would continue. As of now, it is unclear when the port will reopen.

In response to the Port of Baltimore being closed for the time being, port operators on the East Coast say they are prepared to handle container ships that divert from Baltimore.

Furthermore, per the JOC, marine terminals in New Jersey and Virginia are expanding their gate hours.

As of April 1st, Port Newark Container Terminal says they will keep their truck gates open until 6pm, instead of their usual 4pm closure. Starting April 6th, PNCT says they will be open Saturdays from 7am to 3pm for an undefined time. The Port of Virginia is extending their gate hours as well, opening at 5am instead of their usual 6am.

Additionally in the future once the debris from the incident is removed, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will need to examine and determine if there was damage to the ship channel, which is 50 feet deep and 800 feet wide.


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