UK port strike could see $800 million in lost trade

The proposed strike at the port of Felixstowe in the UK could result in over $800 million in trade being disrupted according to the ALPS Marine analysis by Russell Group, a data and analytics company.

Further analysis by Russell Group shows that clothing ($82.8 million) and electronic components ($32.3 million) will be the commodities that would be impacted by the strike.

The analysis is based on previous trade flows at Felixstowe in this August period.

Over 1,900 members of the Unite Union will strike at the port between Sunday 21stAugust until Monday 29th August in a dispute about a pay increase.

Many leading businesses are concerned about the impact that the strike will have on supply chains.  It is taking significantly more time, for logistics and risk management experts to plan their strategies which means they have had to throw extra resources to address shipping issues, for example, that previously were not a problem.  A period of calmer waters will be welcomed by everyone throughout industry supply chains.

Beyond the UK, Felixstowe plays a crucial role in global trade, feeding UK exports to larger European ports including Rotterdam ($108 million) and Hamburg ($138 million).

Many experts believe that because of the disruption at Felixstowe, trade will be diverted to smaller ports in the UK but also other international ports including Wilhelmshaven, Germany, which has a significant higher trade inflow than Felixstowe at this same period, at around $1 billion.

Commenting on the launch of the Felixstowe figures, Suki Basi, Russell Group MD said:

“The disruption at Felixstowe spells more uncertainty for businesses, consumers and governments alike. Ports across the globe are facing congestion, due to a large backlog caused by the pandemic.”

“As our analysis has shown today, these strikes could increase the backlog and in doing so, create even more delays, and the effects of this will only be registered in the coming weeks and months.”