Officials Report $112 Million in Losses Due to Ongoing Cargo Truck Driver Strike in Colombia
Cargo truck drivers in Colombia are into their fourth week on strike, and companies and cargo movement are suffering as industry officials report an estimated $112 million in national economic losses. Officials at the Pacific port in Buenaventura indicated that warehouses and yards are at maximum capacity as sea containers primarily loaded with grains, poultry, and milling products continue to accumulate. Other ports, including Santa Marta, Barranquilla, and Cartagena, are experiencing similar delays. In addition to the buildup at the Port of Buenaventura, the truck driver strike has reportedly halted the movement of some 7,000 tonnes of cargo per day in Valle del Cauca Department. Other ports, including Santa Marta, Barranquilla, and Cartagena, are experiencing similar delays. The neighboring department of Cauca is also reportedly seeing dramatically reduced levels of cargo transportation.
Industry officials estimate that about 150,000 drivers, or 40 percent of all transporters in the country, are on strike. Although drivers initially stated that they would not block roads, reports indicate that transporters were stopped on major highways in Medellin, Antioquia and Cali, Valle del Cauca. Negotiations between truck drivers and labor ministry officials are ongoing but have so far failed to produce any type of agreement that would end the strike.