Global supply chains are in danger warns international carriers’ organizations
Global supply chains are in danger of collapsing, warns international carriers’ organizations in an open letter to heads of state attending the United Nations General Assembly. Among the reasons stated in the manner in which the carriers were treated during the pandemic.
It is the worst warning ever issued by these organizations, which represent 60 million employees in the maritime, road, or air transport.
The worst warning for road, sea, and air transport
It is the worst warning ever issued by these organizations, which represent 60 million employees in the maritime, road, or air transport. Thus, sailors, truck drivers, and air transport workers had to endure quarantine, travel restrictions, and multiple requirements for vaccination and anti-Covid testing in order to stay in business.
Now, they have all reached a critical point and warn that global supply chains are on the verge of collapse. Carriers point out that they are no longer able to cope with the high volume of work, especially in the context of the restrictions imposed by each country due to the new pandemic wave.
They demand that vaccination be given priority
According to the carriers, the problems may worsen towards the end of the year, during the holidays.
They demand that vaccination be given priority and that the restrictions imposed on them with wave 4 of the pandemic be removed.
In an open letter to heads of state attending the United Nations General Assembly, the International Maritime Transport Chamber (ICS) and other industry groups warned of the danger of “the collapse of the global transportation and supply system” if governments fail to restore it. freedom of movement for transport workers and they are not guaranteed access to WHO-approved vaccines.
“Global supply chains are starting to give way. Two years of pressure on carriers are starting to speak for themselves,” reads the document signed by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the International Road Transport Union (IRU), and the International Federation of Transport Workers (ITF). Together, these employers’ associations have 65 million transport workers worldwide.
“All transport sectors are experiencing a shortage of workers and we expect more and more to leave as a result of the way these people were treated during the pandemic, which would put supply chains under even greater threat. It’s time for governments to meet the needs of these employees.
“the group said. Guy Platten, ICS general secretary, said the shortage of workers is likely to worsen towards the end of the year, as seafarers will not want to sign new contracts as there is a risk that they will not be able to get home for Christmas. Some ports could be closed, the 4th epidemic wave will generate new travel restrictions, and among the most affected could be food and fuel supplies in the UK, the document also shows.
Fragile supply chains
“The global supply chain is very fragile and depends as much on a navigator as it is on a driver. The time has come for heads of government to listen to us,” said Stephen Cotton, secretary-general of the International Transport Forum (ITF). quoted by CNN.
There have been situations in which sailors have been forced to stay on ships for 18 months, and drivers have had to get more anti-Covid vaccines in order to enter countries that do not recognize some of the sera.
At the beginning of the pandemic, many seafarers agreed to extend their contracts by a few months to maintain the supply chain of food, fuel, medicine, and other consumer goods. During the peak of the pandemic, in 2020, 400,000 seafarers could not leave their ships, some reaching work for 18 months even after the conclusion of the initial contracts.
Multiple vaccinations, repeated tests
Some travel restrictions have been re-imposed due to the Delta coronavirus variant, and transport employees have faced multiple vaccinations and testing requirements just to honor their contracts. Some seafarers have been vaccinated several times because some countries have only approved certain vaccines.
Another problem is the unequal distribution of vaccines globally, which has led to the situation that only about 25% – 30% of navigators are completely vaccinated.
Anti-Covid testing is also a challenge. In February, Germany imposed filters on the borders with the Czech Republic and Tyrol in Austria and mandatory PCR testing for truck drivers. Cross-border workers and truck drivers could not pass unless they had a very recent negative PCR test.
The measure prompted Austria to introduce controls at the border with Italy, causing huge blockades. The measures affected thousands of truck drivers, who stood in line for days on the border between Italy and Austria, at temperatures below zero degrees, without food and medicine.
The green certificate has eased some of the pressure, but there are still various restrictions and blockages.
“Drivers have faced hundreds of problems at border crossings and pandemic blockages. They, like citizens and companies that depend on the delivery of goods, pay a high price for incorrectly applied Covid restrictions that apply to transport employees. “said Umberto de Pretto, secretary-general of the International Union of Road Carriers.