French Dockers Shut Down Terminals

French unions have launched fresh strikes against the government attempt to up retirement age.

Container lines are advising shippers to divert French-bound cargo through Spanish or Italian ports after fresh strike action at the Fos container terminals near Marseilles, Lloyds List reports.

To date 14 or 40 ships have been cancelled between October 20 and November 5, including Maersk, CMA CGM, Hapag-Lloyd, United Arab Shipping Co and Mediterranean Shipping Co. At the Mourepiane container terminal in Marseilles, which serves the port's shortsea customers, 14 sailings out of 35 have been cancelled between October 13 and November 4.

Vessels coming to Fos could wait four to five days to berth, 80 ships delayed at Marseilles' oil terminals at Fos and Lavera.

Reuters reported that delivery from seven out of 12 refineries in France remained blocked by protesting workers, while production at refineries had been halted at 10 refineries due to either strike action or lack of crude supplies.

The strikes, now into their fourth week are escalating as French workers and families protest the cuts to their retirement benefits.