A strike by container truck drivers in India’s Port of Cochin entered its fourth day on Friday, crippling cargo movements and threatening to disrupt operations at India Gateway Terminal, managed by DP World.
A shipping line agent at Cochin said the strike is set to continue into the weekend after talks between striking drivers and the truck owners group before local labor authorities Thursday failed to reach an agreement on wage increases.
“Despite several rounds of negotiations, neither truck owners nor union leaders were ready to make any compromises that could break the deadlock,” the agent said.
By The Numbers: U.S. Container Trade With India.
Union representatives said truck owners turned down the drivers’ revised proposal for a 30 percent increase in wages.
As of Friday morning, nearly 4,000 import containers were reported to be stranded at the terminal yard and four ships were waiting for berth.
A representative of the local Container Shipping Lines’ Association said all import deliveries and export arrivals had come to a complete halt because of the indefinite walkout, which occurred just as shippers were moving their Christmas orders.
“With inbound containers piling up, the terminal is bracing for severe congestion problems if trucking operations are not restored immediately,” he said.
The Trade Union Coordination Committee representing all major labor groups in the southeastern port suspended trucking activity Monday morning, calling for wage increases and additional benefits.
India Gateway, a special purpose joint venture of DP World, state-owned Container Corporation of India and two domestic shipping groups, took over operations at the port terminal in 2004 with an agreement to build a modern container transshipment facility, which is slated to open early next year.