Chile’s San Antonio port policies, strike taking toll on fruit exports

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Chile’s San Antonio port policies, strike taking toll on fruit exports

A port workers strike now 30 days old and policies that slow the loading and embarking of perishable food products have Chilean exporters calling for action.

In a media statement Chile’s fruit exporters association (ASOEX) said that the current strike has caused most shipments to be diverted to other ports, such as Valparaiso to the north. As a result the industry has suffered around US $1 million in losses due to the additional costs.

The strike started December 1 after a workers union of the port operator Empresa Portuaria San Antonio (EPSA) manifested their dis-accord with labor conditions and a process to tender new port works and improvements.

ASOEX president Ronald Bown has called on authorities to take action and resolve the strike or risk further damaging the fruit industry, especially considering that large volume crops such as apples and pears will start to be harvested and exported in January.

Furthermore Bown called for a revision of policies in order to facilitate the flow of perishable good through the port. According to Bown current policies due not prioritize the loading of perishable products although shipping operations are generally reserved long in advance. However policies due not prioritize this more sensitive cargo.


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