Argentine lorry drivers block Bahia Blanca port for sixth day

The port of Bahia Blanca, in the south of Argentina’s Buenos Aires province remains blocked for the sixth consecutive day by a...

The port of Bahia Blanca, in the south of Argentina’s Buenos Aires province remains blocked for the sixth consecutive day by a group of lorry drivers demanding a fixed freight tariff, according to local media reports.

The drivers are also demanding the suspension of a law regulating the weight and power of lorries transporting goods and has been running since last Thursday.

Local press reports said that representatives of the truckers would hold meetings with representatives of the port on Thursday.

Current legislation has set a timeline to phase out low power trucks out of circulation in a bid to boost road safety on the routes.

Gustavo Idigoras, head of the country’s grain export chamber CIARA-CEC told Agricensus that the protest had been some violence among some of the strikers, but authorities were slow to respond.

“The Ministry of Transport is currently intervening in this conflict as the authorities of the Buenos Aires Province are not taking any action at all to try to solve this conflict,” Idigoras said.

The action targets port facilities at a key time in Argentina’s corn export programme, as mounting orders battle with historically low water levels along the key arteries that feed into the Up River network – particularly the Parana river.

Research by Agricensus suggests that typically around 68% of total corn exports are handled by the Up River hub, but the low water has seen a shift in operations as Atlantic ports, like Bahia Blanca and Necochea, pick up extra work, with Up River declining to 55% of all loadings.

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