Chilean Port Strikes Again

2017-06-06 09:45 WBO Global

Write | WBO Morris
Translate and Edit | WBO Hersy

WBO published an article in May 23rd: French wine suffered currency rises, natural disasters, and transport difficulties! Has the opportunity of "new world" come yet? There was an importer who mentioned: the trade union at the docks frequently strikes. It led to his wine being unable to reach the shore as scheduled, which caused his wine could not be sold in the Spring Festival.  

And recently, WBO received news that another strike happened at Chile's docks, and it would affect wine transportation.

The Strike Is Intended to Raise Wages

WBO received a mail screenshot send from a supply chain company to its dealers, and the mail said: “Last night, we learned that the Chilean Union will strike from May 24th, and the duration is unable to identify now. The container export and export documents approval will be affected during this period of time.”

WBO interviewed several wine dealers who are familiar with Chilean wines, and most of them said they had received news of the strike. But the severity, duration, and causes are unknown.

The Deputy secretary general of Chinese Wine Circulation Association import wine Market, Xi Kang, who is familiar with Chilean wine, guessed that the strike may be the chain reaction of the rises of European transport prices and the transport tension in Australia. Some in Chile also want to take the opportunity to raise prices and raise salaries.

The general manager of a Beijing wine trading Company which runs Chile wine, Li Xinxin, said: workers in Chile docks strike frequently, almost every year, even without much exact reasons, but the strike time is flexible.

Sometimes the strike is because of the hot weather and the workers want to rest for a few days, instead of labor dispute. Of course, this is certainly not a good thing for wine importers.

The market manager of a Chile Winery in China, Bob, told WBO: every Chilean strike is related to salary, and the Chilean government is weak and easy to compromise. The wages of grass root workers have been low on the whole, so such a strike happens every year.

Indeed, wine writer, Qu Rijin, who is very familiar with the Chilean wine market, told WBO: "Facing the new Chilean presidential election in November, the Union strikes in order to improve wages and other benefits."

The Strike Affected Wine Market Briefly

In regard to the scale and impact on wine exports of this strike, Mr. Qu told WBO: the strike scale is not large. Among the main export ports to Asia, San Antonio and Valparaiso port may be affected the most.

However, Chile's unions are very strong and Chilean customs do not have enough employees to cope with it, therefore, although the scale of this strike is small, the impact of this strike is relatively large.

Bob pointed out: although Chile has two or three strikes every year, because a lot of goods in Chile need to import, and relying heavily on this, the government will easily compromise.    

"Every strike in Chile is only a paper talk, and it causes only a short delay, without obvious impact on imports and exports. We ship the goods every week, and I haven't heard anything about the strike yet." Bob said.

"Besides the strike, Chile suffers earthquakes frequently, which have impact on shipping." Mr. Xi said. And considered this situation, there should be many alternatives, if wine dealers want to import wine from Chile.

"There are many ports in Chile, and there are three ports only in Santiago. Since it is impossible for all ports to strike, there will be many alternative ports if the big ports strike." said Mr. Xi. "It's time to test the coordination ability of local wineries and logistics companies. "