Port Strike Action Causing Major Disruption for Manufacturers

14 March 2018

The current industrial action by workers at the Lyttelton Port is starting to effect Canterbury manufacturers, who are facing delays and increased cost for the freight of goods and inputs.

“We went out to our membership to see if anyone was experiencing delays or issues related to the closure – we received a number of comments from manufacturers who are already experiencing difficulties, and many who are expecting additional delays and increased freight costs in finding other transport solutions.” says Mr Dieter Adam, CE, The Manufacturers’ Network.

“This is effecting manufacturers who are trying to get their products out of the port to meet delivery deadlines, and those who are waiting for input goods to arrive.  Some have reported the lack of input goods is expected to severely impact their manufacturing businesses, potentially delaying their own production.” he says.

“Some manufacturers are having to use road and rail services to move goods through the Timaru port, at a significantly increased cost and longer time frame for transportation. We also have reports of export goods waiting in the port to leave to Australia which are needed urgently.

“South Island freight services are being held to ransom over what currently appears to be a relatively small amount of money which is still in dispute. This is particularly frustrating when many of the workers involved may already be on significantly higher wages compared to other workers in the transport industry, and stand to receive further pay increases from the offer put on the table by the port.

“We need this dispute to end and get operation back to normal.  The port is a critical piece of infrastructure for companies and manufacturers, and its closure for any amount of time will have significant impacts on these businesses and the wider Canterbury economy, which relies on manufacturing and exports for a large amount of its GDP and growth.” says Mr Adam.