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Foreign Shipping Companies Say, "If the Current Chaos Continues..."

Foreign Shipping Companies Say, "If the Current Chaos Continues..."

Posted August. 24, 2003 21:43,   


Foreign shipping companies doing business in Korea are agitated over the expanding damage resulting from the strike of the Cargo Transportation Workers` Union.

According to Grand Alliance (GA), which is an alliance of foreign shipping companies with Korean branches on Aug.24, they are paying close attention to how the strike is going on and preparing measures do deal with prolonged walkout.

An official from the Busan office of Hapag Lloyd, a German company, says, “So far the GA has not discussed about or decided on suspension on entering the Busan harbor, but if the installation rate increases, we cannot deal with import and export cargoes. So we have to think of a separate measure to deal with that.”

The installation rate refers to the ratio that containers take up in a harbor. As of noon, the installation rate of Busan harbor marked 61.3%, and is constantly increasing 58.8% on Aug.21.

Also, British P&O and Japanese NYK, which are like the representatives of the GA, are paying close attention to the strike, that they are reporting the movement of the Cargo Transportation Workers` Union and the Korean government, as well as the lawsuits filed by major operators of container ship, to their headquarters.

Thus, the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries is busy coming up with measures to ease the agitation of foreign shipping companies, such as by sending letters to cooperate with the Korean government in the name of its Minister, Huh, Sung-kwan.

In the worse case scenario, in which the strike continues for more than a month, the foreign shipping companies have to leave Korea and find other countries to put their branch offices.

Minister Huh introduced the government measures in the letter sent on Aug. 23, saying, “During the strike period, the government will allow foreign shipping companies to deliver cargoes between Korean harbors and we have secured enough temporary depots near container harbors.”

He said, “Please, actively cooperate with the Korean government, so that ships that use Busan and Gwangyang harbor would be able to operate on schedule,” and added, “I promise to provide services without failing your expectations.”

Minister Huh delivered a letter with same contents to domestic shipping companies on Aug.22, and promised to thoroughly prevent the Cargo Transportation Workers` Union from disrupting cargo transportation system.

Ji-Wan Cha cha@donga.com