Research by UK-based data and analytics company Russell Group shows that recent strikes at five critical German ports could result in a USD6 billion trade loss.

Russell Group said that supply chains disruptions affected the freight, pharmaceuticals, and car/people carrier markets significantly. This came after the trade union ver.di prompted workers to take industrial action at the ports of Hamburg, Bremen, Bremerhaven, Brake and Emden on June 17.

The warning strikes were a response to the union being unable to secure a proposed EUR3 (USD3.2) increase in hourly wages for port workers, retroactive from June 1, as well as a corresponding increase in shift bonuses. The demands also include compensating for the lack of a rise in shift bonuses in the 2022 collective bargaining agreement. 

Russell’s ALPS Marine study suggested that Bremerhaven is one of the world’s busiest ports for vehicles, totalling around USD67.3 billion imported and exported each year.