Importing goods from Ningbo to the UK is normally very straightforward. However, a strike by as many as 10,000 truck drivers, looking for higher pay, caused delays to operations in one of the busiest ports in China. Heated scenes escalated into violence on the 20th of August.
Protestors clashed with riot police and smashed windscreens of trucks that crossed the picket line. Truckers went on strike a day earlier and looked resolved as authorities promised an increase their pay.
Just a day later the strikes flared up again. Pickets reportedly smashed the windshields of trucks trying to enter the port and even laid tire-puncturing spikes at major entrances to prevent any traffic from going in and coming out.
Drivers said costs had increased to the point where they could only take home about 100 Yuan (USD 16) from the daily haulage rate of 1,200 Yuan (USD 195), which had not changed in a decade.
A number of ships have seen their schedules delayed as a result of the action. One local forwarder commented that “The situation is a bit out of control now and they started to smash other trucks who continued to work”.
With strikes and protests frowned upon by Beijing most local reports of the protest were then wiped from Chinese media the next day.
The situation in Ningbo is tense and there may be delays to shipments from Ningbo to the UK but Shippo will ensure that any customers affected are kept to-to-date.