Over the past weeks, labour disputes have escalated in Spanish ports as a consequence of announced government plans to reform the Spanish Ports Act and change the existing labour system in ports in accordance with European Union regulations. This has caused discontent with the stevedores’ unions, who opted for several industrial actions against the proposed law, which was presented to the Parliament (Congreso) on February 24th.
As customer of Spanish ports highly dependent on undisrupted terminal operations, Seago Line has hoped for a positive solution of the dispute and has been committed to a constructive dialogue with all parties. Regretfully, stevedores’ unions have announced a strike during odd hours every second day between March 6th and 25th (i.e. strike carried out on 6th, 8th, 10th, 13th, 15th, 17th, 20th, 22th and 24th March – 9 days in total). Furthermore, slow-downs (reduced terminal productivity) have commenced in all Spanish ports on February 24th and are expected to continue until the strike starts.
These actions will cause a serious impact on cargo flows in and out of Spain and more widely to our global network, especially due to the strategic importance of the port of Algeciras as a major transhipment port for cargo moving to/out of Europe, Africa and many other destinations.
With this in mind, Seago Line would like to advise you of a contingency plan we have put in place to minimise the disruption caused to your business and to ensure we are able to deliver your cargo as promised in a most timely manner possible under current circumstances. The plan is based on the reduced presence in Algeciras during this period and use of alternative ports in Europe and Mediterranean to ensure that we are able to reroute the cargo in the most efficient way. You may therefore experience vessel rerouting, port omissions and additional transhipment of your cargo.
Westbound vessels on Maersk Line Asia-Europe and Middle East services normally calling Algeciras will be diverted to other facilities in the Mediterranean where capacity has been secured and transhipment connections will be made there for cargo destined for Africa, Mediterranean, North Europe and Latin America, based on Maersk Line existing network and additional capacity deployed during the contingency. Eastbound vessels will for the time being continue to call Algeciras and eastbound transhipment connections will be made there.
We have also made special arrangements for Spanish import cargo taking into consideration various options available in the contexts of a port slowdown in Spain and consequent strike.
Should your cargo be directly impacted by any of the mentioned changes, you will receive relevant notifications providing all the details of the revised transport plan, including any changes to ETD or ETA of your cargo. Our customer service representatives will in addition do their utmost to reply to your specific queries or address any issues you may have.
Kindly note that this is a dynamic situation and proposed contingency plans may be subject to change. We remain committed to providing you with timely updates and will continue to do so as the situation develops and as soon as new information is available.
Please remember that you can always find your shipment information updated on Seago Line’s website, as well as arrival and departure dates of vessels: https://my.seagoline.com/schedules/vessel. You can also check your shipment information through the Seago Line Mobile App.
Relevant information for IMPORT customers
Due to the critical and exceptional situation, we kindly ask you to check and confirm that containers have been physically discharged at the terminal of the indicated vessel before you perform any activity at Customs. By doing so, you can avoid issues such as cancelling the documents provided to Customs and avoid sanctions or additional charges associated with those cancellations.