[QUOTE=ombugge;178119]Why don’t you compare US and European costs?
By the way, Japan has among the highest labour costs in the world, while India has among the lowest, so it makes no sense that the cost of handling a container in both countries are the same/similar, as you say.
Well it does, because Japan has among the least labour intensive and most automated container ports in the world and India doesn’t (Yet, but they are catching up)
All major container ports are using the same/similar cranes and straddlers etc. (Nearly all built by ZPMC in China) so it seams that the simple facts is that the higher the level of sophistication and automation of the ports the lower the cost. But this can be overturned by outdated labour laws and bureaucratic handling methods shore side. (Security and Customs etc.)
Why do you need a large labour force at the ports when the stuffing and un-stuffing of the containers are handled elsewhere?
That raise some questions:
What do these “unskilled” Longshoremen do? (Drive cranes, straddlers, trucks etc.?)
Do they handle lashing/un-lashing, or is that done by other Contractors?[/QUOTE]
Union contracts limit automation to “preserve jobs”. The Longshormen have fought off loading containers directly on to trains in most ports. The containers have to be trucked our of the port. They have huge “gang” sizes with lots of guys standing around watching the crane operator and truck drivers.
Companies have moved a lot of the container stuffing and unstuffing to warehouses at “inland ports” where they can use non union labor. The longshoremen are too expensive. Longshoremen are also known for stealing too much.
The next time that Longshoremen go on nationwide strike and interrupt all the Christmas freight doing tremendous damage to the economy, I hope we have a strong President that will lock them out and bring in Filipino longshoremen to replace them. Enough is enough.