Dear valued customer,

As you may have picked up in the media, the national unions in Belgium are organizing regional and national strikes against the newly established Belgian government ‘Michel I’.  The aim of this customer advisory is to inform you about the consequences (for port activity) of the regional strikes on the following days, as it’s very likely that public roads, access roads and/or terminal entrances will be blocked:

– Monday 24 November 2014: Hainaut, Luxembourg, Limburg and Antwerp
– Monday 1 December 2014: Namur, Liège, East Flanders and West Flanders
– Monday 8 December 2014: Brussels, Walloon Brabant and Flemish Brabant

These regional strikes serve as a run-up for the national strike on Monday 15 December 2014.

Directly affected services (Normal pro-forma)

[All Q1742]
Maersk ME1: SUN 2200 – MON 1400

Other services around that time of the week:
[All Q1742]
Maersk Samba: SAT 0600 – SUN 0600
Maersk Ecubex: TUE 0600 – TUE 1400

Monday 24 November 2014

The strike will begin on 06:00 AM and will end 24 hours later on Tuesday 06:00 AM.

Although at this stage we understand that the terminals remain open, there’s very little chance of vessels, barges, trucks and trains being handled as it is expected that we will be confronted with heavy disruption of port activity due to blocking the access roads to the port and our terminals, even slightly before the official start of the strike. In addition, we have been informed by our suppliers that the wide majority of the depots will be temporarily closed because of the lack of workers or by means of a proactive decision to avoid organisational chaos.

Due to this ‘Force Majeur’, we highly recommend you to avoid transport on this day, so that your supply chain will not be heavily impacted.

Following the disruption on 24 November 2014, it is expected that a series of complications might also be encountered the next day (25 November 2014), due to postponed transport.

Monday 1 December 2014

Not clear at this stage what the majority stand will be. No significant actions have been announced. However, some disruptions /delays on the landside may take place.

Monday 8 December 2014

No considerable disruption is to be expected on this date, although we might encounter some minor improvisational disturbance.

As it’s too soon to discuss the impact of the national strike on December 15, we will not elaborate on that today. You will be informed later on, when more detailed information is available.

Should there be further questions from your end, please feel free to contact your closest business partner, as he or she will gladly provide you with the needed information.