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ALC joins calls for government port dispute intervention

The ALC has come out as another body calling for the federal government to intervene on the ongoing DP World and MUA dispute

The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) is the latest body to urge the federal government to act and address the industrial dispute between a union and a port company.

Joining the likes of Ports Australia, the ALC says the ongoing industrial action at major ports between DP World and the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) is significantly impacting Australia’s end-to-end supply chains.

“The ALC is concerned about the impact of the protracted negotiations between the Maritime Union of Australia and DP World and the impact of the dispute on supply chain businesses across every state and region in Australia,” the council says.

“Australia needs to ensure the smooth functioning of international trade and mitigate any additional increases to the costs of living.”

The ALC says international trade plays a crucial role in Australia’s economy, accounting for 46 per cent of GDP and supporting one in five Australian jobs. Ports serve as the primary facilitator of import and export trade, with more than 99 per cent of Australia’s international trade handled through sea-port operations.

The council says DP World currently manages 40 per cent of Australia’s port operations for container freight and each week the industrial action has reduced DP World’s terminal capacity by 35.7 per cent.

DPW’s economic analysis estimates that the weekly cost of the industrial action amounts to $84.2 million, equivalent to 0.17 per cent of Australia’s weekly national gross product.

The financial impact observed totals $78.7 million in disrupted exports and $7.9 million loss in cargo value across Australia. The total cost of import and export delays across all ports is estimated at $9.9 million.

“The economic impact of the ongoing industrial dispute is extensive. The disruption not only affects specific industries such as meat, horticultural, retail, medical and manufacturing, but has wider implications increasing the costs-of-living,” the ALC says.

“Industrial action at the ports is not the only challenge facing Australia’s end-to-end supply chain businesses; ongoing challenges include flood damage, workforce shortages and geopolitical issues in the global network.

“Given the critical role of international trade and port operations to Australia, the ALC urges government action. A resolution is urgently needed that safeguards the interests of all supply chain stakeholders, protects Australia’s reputation as a reliable trading partner and ensures the stability of our economy.”

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