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Freight strikes sweep the world

Recently, South Korean truck drivers, German port workers, British railway workers, Belgian unionized laborers, Canadian railway workers, Spanish truck drivers, and thousands of American airline pilots and European airline employees have launched protest strike actions.

Inflation has caused food and energy prices to continue to soar, but wages have fallen far short of it. Waves of protests and strikes have been triggered in ports, airlines, railways, and road truck drivers around the world, which are causing political turmoil in various countries. , supply chain worse. On one side are the full yard wharf, and on the other side are wharf, railway, and transport workers protesting strikes for wages. Under the double blow, the shipping schedule and delivery time may be further delayed.


At present, strikes in Europe are spreading, supply chains are severely impacted, and the backlog of undelivered goods at ports is getting worse. This is forcing ocean carriers to prioritise shipping full containers, leaving Asian exporters with vital empty containers stranded in export hubs like the Dutch port of Rotterdam.

A wave of airline strikes in Europe is exacerbating Europe's transport crisis. Germany's Lufthansa, Europe's largest airline, announced on June 23 that it would cancel more than 3,000 flights this summer due to staff shortages, strikes and the COVID-19. "The impact of the strike by air traffic controllers, the weather and especially the increase in the number of Covid-19 infections has grown," Lufthansa explained, noting that over the past few days, more and more employees have called in sick. Of the 80,000 flights taking off and landing in Frankfurt and Munich, the group cancelled 2,200 flights, mainly domestic and intra-European routes. In May, Lufthansa Cargo, the world's largest air cargo company, also ordered ten Boeing freighters, but now it is facing the pain of staff shortage.

According to media reports, some crew members of Irish budget airline Ryanair in Belgium, Spain and Portugal have started a three-day strike due to a pay dispute, followed by employees in France and Italy. The British airline easyJet will also face a wave of strikes from July 1. At present, the airports of Amsterdam, London, Frankfurt and Paris are in chaos, and many flights have been forced to cancel. In addition to the strikes, severe staffing shortages are also causing headaches for airlines. London Gatwick and Amsterdam Schiphol have announced caps on the number of flights. With wage increases and benefits completely unable to keep up with inflation, strikes will become the norm for the European aviation industry for some time to come.

The successive strikes in these major economies have had a negative impact on global production and supply chains. What people worry about now is whether the global strikes will be a repeat of the 1970s? In the 1970s, strikes, inflation and energy shortages plunged the global economy into crisis. For example, in the winter from late 1978 to early 1979, the economic crisis reached its climax in the United Kingdom. About 1.5 million people in various fields in the United Kingdom participated in strikes, and medical care, logistics and even garbage disposal fell into a large-scale shutdown, which was called the "Winter of Dissatisfaction". Today, the world is facing the same problems: high inflation, insufficient energy supply, the possibility of economic recession, the decline of people's living standards, and the widening gap between the rich and the poor.


Shenzhen Xunlaitong specializes in shipping export from Shenzhen to Australia & New Zealand, Germany, Netherlands and more business