Fragile transportation supply chains and instable logistics hubs are easily disrupted by labor issues. The US, UK, France, South Korea, Spain are among the countries recently hit by transportation strikes. All modes of transport were affected: air, rail, road, ports and shipping. Instances and consequences include:
Mid-year strikes by pilots and ground crews caused flight cancellations and chaos in Europe and the US. The situation was made worse by the scramble for staff amid surging demand for flights. As commercial flights carry substantial cargo shipments, cancellations from airport strikes also affect air-freight space and rates.
Massive rail strikes continue to threaten rail freight in the US. Work stoppage could shock supply chains and “cripple the economy,” potentially costing $160 billion per day. Consumers may not immediately feel the effects, yet heavy industry relies on railways.
Remember the blockades on the US-Canadian border? Truckers protesting the coronavirus vaccination mandate barricaded border crossing, including Ambassador Bridge. The bridge between Detroit, Mich., and Windsor, Ontario carries 25% of all trade between the U.S. and Canada.
Losses totaled some $1 billion per day. Deliveries of critical car parts were delayed for nearly a week. Elsewhere, truck drivers in Australia, UK, EU, in Spain, France went on strike for better pay and conditions. In South Korea, high fuel costs prompted independent truckers to protest for a guaranteed minimum wage.