Santos strike intensified

The port strike in Santos, Brazil, has intensified this week with the introduction of ‘Red Light Week’ until 16 December.  During this period, import cargoes will be retained in the terminals and the export shipments will undergo physical and documentary inspections.

Next week, a standard operation is also scheduled at the Port of Santos. Between Monday and Friday with only essential and perishable items being released.

Jose Roque, Executive Director of the Union of Maritime Navigation Agencies of the State of São Paulo (Sindamar) explained that the fiscal strike, which began in July of this year and worsened in recent weeks impacting the flow of international trade and restricting the supply of essential commercial and industrial supplies.

Jose said that the port of Santos is also suffering from the unpredictability of operations, generating legal and contractual insecurity, and may even lead to the displacement of operations of some companies to other ports or even to other countries. “This causes us to lose competitiveness before the new players, which brings us serious impacts to international trade and the balance of trade, “he said.

The estimate of the National Union of Tax Auditors (Sindifisco) in Santos is that the strike in October and November has caused the retention of approximately 16,000 containers at the Port of Santos and a delay in revenue estimated at R$ 1.6 billion. It is estimated that the escalation of the strike will cause a further 6,000 containers to be retained.

Jose Roque said that import cargoes are being held at the terminals for lack of clearance. Export goods coming from other national ports and in transit through Santos Port are being held, missing sailings and incurring additional storage charges. He also said that if the strike is extended the port may not have the capacity to store goods. “We have never faced a situation as critical as the current one, where the silence of the Government prevails to the detriment of the country’s growth,” he said.

Information supplied by Luan Duarte, GInter.