News: Colombian National Strike

News & Insights 16 June 2021

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The club’s correspondent in Colombia, A&A Multiprime, has provided the following update in relation to the national strikes that have been taking place across the country since 28 April 2021 following the government’s filing of a...

Blue oil tanker

The club’s correspondent in Colombia, A&A Multiprime, has provided the following update in relation to the national strikes that have been taking place across the country since 28 April 2021 following the government’s filing of a tax reform proposal in Congress on 15 April 2021.

Whilst the number of protests, public demonstrations and blockages have reduced, members should note that the effects of blockades on ports are still significant, especially at Buenaventura.   Protesters and indigenous communities are continuing to sporadically blockade the main road that connects the port of Buenaventura with the rest of the country, and the capacity of terminals to store bulk and containerized cargo is still limited.

The Chamber of Commerce of Buenaventura reports that more than 540,000 MT of cargo, both bulk and containerized, is held up at the port. This cargo cannot be moved because of lack of transportation. Consequently, the port's storage space is low as the container and bulk terminals are at or above 80% and 90% capacity. Given the local situation, some shipping lines are not currently calling at Buenaventura.  It is hoped that, following dialogue between the government and the protesters, transport operations will resume, though this is initially expected to be a slow process.

The situation at the port of Puerto Bolivar is better. Coal operations have recently resumed following the clearing of blockades on the railway that connects the coal mine with Puerto Bolivar. Following this, operations at this port have resumed and workers are gradually returning to their duties at the mine.

A&A Multiprime have advised that at this stage it is difficult to predict what will happen in the short term. However, negotiations between the government and protesters continues and there is also an order in place to clear the blockades.

Members should contact their local agents for the latest information. If you have any questions about this alert, please contact your usual claims handler for further assistance.

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