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MSC threatens to slash Gothenburg traffic in half

The global container carrier and major customer of APM Terminals in Port of Gothenburg now says that it is considering rebooking close to 50 percent of its port calls. The announcement follows the gridlocked conflict between dockworkers in the port and APM Terminals.

The gridlocked conflict between dockworkers and APM Terminals is now starting to really hurt the Port of Gothenburg.

The port has previously estimated that the conflict caused a seven percent slide in cargo volumes as carriers and shippers have found other ways to transport their goods to and from Sweden.

And now the global container carrier MSC threatens to cut its calls in Port of Gothenburg in half unless the problems are resolved, reports Swedish media Gøteborgs-Posten.

We are getting so strong reactions from our customers that we will definitely make a sizeable reduction on bookings in Sweden"

Morten Møller Weisdal, managing director, MSC Sweden

"It's 100 percent because of the labor conflict. We are getting so strong reactions from our customers that we will definitely make a sizeable reduction on bookings in Sweden," Morten Møller Weisdal, MSC's managing director in Sweden, tells the media, adding that this would be a significant reduction of around half the port calls.

MSC is a major customer of APM Terminals in Port of Gothenburg and partner of Maersk Line in the world's biggest container alliance, 2M.

The statement from MSC comes a week and a half after yet another attempt to mediate the conflict between dockworkers represented by union Svensk Hamnarbetarförbundet's subdivision Ham4an and the Maersk Group's port unit APM Terminals collapsed.

The carrier is not the first customer to look toward other ports due to the conflict. In May the Swedish foresting group Stora Enso announced that it considers leaving Port of Gothenburg. This news came in a letter to Sweden's minister of transport, who has entered the case.

According to Gøteborgs-Posten, chemical group Akzo Nobel and fashion company Lindex have also opted to find other routes for its goods.

However, a resolution does not look imminent. In early June the Swedish mediator announced that he has given up efforts to mediate between the parties in the conflict. The parties have been summoned to a new meeting at Sweden's mediation body Mæglingsinstitutionen on Friday, reports media Sjøfartstidningen.

English Edit: Daniel Logan Berg-Munch

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