6.9.2022 | Haulage

Felixstowe Port strike costs hauliers thousands

Concern mounts in the absence of any resolution; further strike action is expected to be announced in the coming weeks.

It’s been over a week since the dock strike, and the Port of Felixstowe and Unite are still in dispute. Porttalk caught up with two local companies whose business has been caught in the disagreement’s crossfire.

Mark Bennett, operations director at VKVP Haulage, says: “The strike has left us with a downturn in earnings in the region of £100k and resulted in drivers transferring to Southampton and London Gateway for business.

“The ripple effect of the strike is immense, and we are among the many impacted. As an industry, we’re still reeling from the shortage of safe and secure places to park, and the uncertainty at the port only compounds our daily challenges and ability to do our job well.

“Our further concern is in the absence of any resolution; further strike action is expected to be announced in the coming weeks.”

Another member of the local haulier community to voice his concerns is CP Transport’s managing director Adam Searle.

Adam adds: “The port might have decided to strike, but I still had to pay drivers’ wages, office overheads, tax, and insurance as though it was business as usual.
In total, the eight days they were on strike cost me £70,000.”

With the financial fallout of the eight-day walkout impacting the whole industry, Adam continues: “It’s not just the transport sector that suffered but freight, warehousing, and distribution companies too.

“The local region benefits from a unique infrastructure built around supporting activities at the port, and so the financial impact of the strike has been felt acutely across all the regions logistics companies. Advance notice of the walkout meant any effect on supply chains was minimal, but with the port’s new offer and no planned formal discussions, it’s what lays ahead of us that concerns me most.”