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Labor Disruptions at World’s Ports Quadruple as Discontent Grows

  • Protests at shipping hubs from Europe to Korea soared in 2022
  • Unions emboldened by growing inflation and stagnant wages

Labor unrest took an unusually heavy toll on ports around the world last year, and the outlook for continued economic instability could bring even more upheaval to global supply chains in 2023. 

There were at least 38 instances of protests or strikes affecting port operations last year, more than four times as many as in 2021 when the pandemic upended global trade, according to Crisis24, a maritime security consultancy. There were nine incidents in 2020, according to data beginning in July. Crisis24 changed its tracking system at that time, and comparisons with previous years are unavailable.