You may be aware that the Ports of Auckland are experiencing service issues. Compounding their issues is the rapid increase in COVID cases impacting the workforce.
The port recently put out a public announcement – some of which I have copied over verbatim.
- A growing number of our staff either have Omicron or can’t work because someone in their household has Omicron. As of today, 12% of our Container Operations workforce is absent due to Omicron / COVID-19 (this is in addition to ‘normal’ absences), across the range of stevedoring skills
- We expect the daily impact to be quite variable. Some days we’ll have a small number of staff test positive while on other days we may have a significant number. This happened on Monday night and resulted in the loss of one crane for the shift, a loss of capacity that we do not get back in terms of volume throughput and impacts schedules
- The measures we have put in place on port to slow down the spread of infection and to allow staff to keep working if they are only close contacts are working. However, COVID-19 is so widespread in Auckland there is nothing we can do to stop an increasing number of our people getting infected outside of work.
- Staff who are still able to work are helping by doing extra shifts where they can. We will do our best, but our ability to compensate for COVID-inflicted absence is limited.
Meanwhile the Port of Lyttelton reports the following first positive case which no doubt is a sign of things to come.
- LPC has identified our first positive COVID-19 case. The case was confirmed through a positive PCR test. The person is now self-isolating, and all close contacts are being identified. The COVID-19 response team has plans and processes in place to respond to positive cases at LPC and are currently working through these. The case is based in our Container Terminal and poses low risk to any Port Users as our operational workforces have been separated into groups and do not directly interact with any Port Users.
The above notices serve to remind that critical infrastructure will be impacted in the weeks ahead. I’m confident that service efficiency will be interrupted from time to time and will inevitably impact your business. Please bear with us during these moments. Please be assured the Stellar team will be doing all we can in order to minimise disruption.