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How Port Strikes Can Affect the Timing of Your Overseas Move

July 16th, 2014

International Moving

International moving can be an exciting proposition. You can look forward to new experiences and learning many different things. However, it can also be stressful. No one likes to pack, and dealing with all of the details surrounding a move can give you a headache.

Certain aspects of the move will be within your control, such as when you schedule your flight and when you decide to sort through your things to decide what to take with you. Other parts of the overseas moving process are out of your hands, though. One of those things is port strikes.
A port strike can take place in the country where you’re currently living or at the port where you’ll be moving. Read on to learn about how it can impact the timing of your overseas move.

What Happens During a Port Strike?

A strike refers to the decision of any group of people employed at or by a port to stop working entirely because their demands for better working conditions have not been met. This could mean that truckers could refuse to transport shipments or dockyard workers could quit unloading boats. As a result, shipments remain stuck at the port until the strike ends. A port strike will come to an end when the management overseeing the striking employees meets their demands or when the government forces them back to work. Strikes hurt the economy in general, although you’ll feel the sting personally; you can wind up paying hundreds or even thousands of dollars in storage fees while your belongings sit during the strike.

Can I Still Travel to My New Home Abroad If There’s a Port Strike?

The answer to that question is “yes.” You’ve been preparing for this move for months, and you’ve most likely booked your ticket far in advance. At the very least, it would cost you hundreds of dollars to change your airfare. It’s virtually impossible to predict when a port strike will take place, or how long it will last. Don’t base your decision about traveling on something you can’t predict or control.

It’s important to remember that even if there was no port strike, you would still not receive your shipment at the same time you arrive at your new destination. It can take ships weeks to travel to port, whereas it can take a matter of hours to fly to a new country. With that in mind, don’t forget to take things that you’ll need in the short term with you on the plane (enough clothes for the season, medications, important documents, laptops, etc.).

How Much Longer Will It Take for Me To Receive My Belongings?

When you receive your belongings depends on how long the port strike lasts. The strike could last for a few days, or it could drag on for weeks. Just as it’s impossible to predict when a port strike will take place, it’s equally futile to guess as to how long it will go on.

If the port strike takes place in the country you’re leaving from, your shipment will be delayed on its journey to reach your new home. Conversely, should the port strike occur at your destination, your shipment will sit on the boat until the workers return to unload it.

What Steps Can I Take to Minimize the Inconvenience Caused by a Port Strike?
Remember that you have no control over a port strike, and you can’t predict whether one will take place, either. The best thing you can do is be aware of the risk. Research the ports in question. Some ports have a reputation for being affected by strikes, such as those in Brazil and Greece.

Another step you can take to minimize the inconvenience of a port strike is to bring as many essentials with you as you can on the plane. Also, be prepared to purchase what you need when you arrive.
If you’re shipping furniture, you should look for short term furnished accommodations in your new city. Talk to the person or agency renting the property about the possibility of extending your lease should the need arise.

Finally, be patient and bear in mind that this too shall pass. What’s most important for you to do is become adjusted to life in a new country, which might mean learning a new language and definitely means being ready for new and exciting adventures.

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Port Strikes
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How Port Strikes Can Affect the Timing of Your Overseas Move
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