Maritime and logistics industry could lose half its workforce in COVID-19 crisis, as chamber calls for government aid

The Malta Chamber of Commerce has called on the government to support the maritime and logistics industry during the economic crisis caused by COVID-19

The maritime and logistics sector is calling for increased government aid
The maritime and logistics sector is calling for increased government aid

Half of the workforce in the maritime and logistics sector risks being made redundant unless government aid is stepped up, a survey among operators has found.

This has led the Malta Chamber of Commerce to call on the government to support the industry in the wake of the economic crisis caused by restrictions imposed due to COVID-19.

The chamber said that during recent months, the industry faced a great deal of challenges, primarily due to the restrictions on port operations to only allow essential services.

A task force set up by the chamber with stakeholders from the industry identified various challenges, including restrictions from carriers for space availability, transit limitations, international haulage delays and driver shortages, and constantly having to find alternative routes and options for the cargo.

The chamber said, however, the largest challenge that will persist over the coming years is having to balance the loss in revenue with employee retention and the industry remains predominately driven by the competence of the people it employs.

"The low labour turnover over the years is a strong indication of the value this industry places on its people, and layoffs caused by redundancies will be an extremely painful process," the chamber said.

A survey among operators has indicated that around 50% of the work force is at risk of being made redundant because of the crisis unless there is increased support from the Maltese governments.

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