Gothenburg dispute has cost Swedish economy US$510m

Port of Gothenburg A dispute between dockworkers and APM Terminals at the Port of Gothenburg has cost the Swedish economy US$510m. Credit: Port of Gothenburg
Industry Database

The Swedish economy will lose out on SEK4.5bn (US$510m) as a result of a long-term conflict between dockworkers and APM Terminals at the Port of Gothenburg, a new report has found.

Consultancy firm Damvad Analytics said that the conflict has caused major changes in freight flows to and from Sweden, with about 240,000 teu redirected to other Swedish or European ports last year and increased logistics costs for Swedish companies It said this corresponds to imports and exports to a value of a total of 64 billion kronor.

The report stated the “business costs of the harbor conflict amounted to 4.5 billion kronor” in 2017. It added that “One third of these costs, corresponding to SEK 1.5 billion, consists of increased Logistics costs due to redirected goods flows.”

Increased transport costly

The biggest cost of redirects has occurred due to increased transport to and from European ports, Damvad said.

The other two thirds of business costs, equivalent to SEK3bn, include costs incurred due to delayed goods transport. Additionally, increased transport distances and times entailed costs for business equivalent to SEK60m.

In addition to increased costs for the business community, the conflict over pay and conditions has given rise to socioeconomic costs that affected other parts of society.

For containers re-routed in 2017, these costs amount to a total of SEK190m. The largest amount of costs arises resulting from increased domestic transport, corresponding to SEK70m. Carbon dioxide emissions have increased 70,000t, which, according to the report, corresponds to socio-economic costs of SEK80m.

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