Strike Pushed Poti Port to Critical Point
15 November, 2012
Strike Pushed Poti Port to Critical Point

The 10-day strike pushed Poti Port and transit-related businesses on critical level of losing cargos and the image. The sector pundits doubt the strike smells of sabotage and ask government to investigate the issue. 

A 10-day long strike started on November 1, 2012 at the largest Georgian port in Poti was ended on November 10, after governmental interference. Giorgi Kvirikashvili, Minister of Economic and Sustainable Development of Georgia, who visited Poti Port to negotiate with the strikers and leave the message

of Bidzina Ivanishvili, Prime Minister of Georgia [who asked to stop protesting lest make a heavy impact on Georgia’s economy] succeeded to achieve an agreement on major demands of strikers: 20% increase of salaries starting December 1, this year [instead of January 1, 2013 as the port administration suggested] and improved working conditions.

Besides, the newly created governmental commission on Labor Relationships and Social Dialogue headed by Premier himself, will make more in-depth research of Poti Port employees’ problems, Kvirikashvili said. This commission was set up recently to regulate the overwhelming protestation band obsessing entire Georgia starting by strikes at coal and manganese mines and contracting Georgian railway, prisons, municipal transport, Involuntarily Displaced People (IDPs) occupying empty buildings illegally and many more threats to stability of the country that apparently loom in prospect – Tbilisi metro and Kulevi terminal in Poti also plan to go on strikes.

But the complete paralysis of Poti Port for ten days led the port to the critical level of losing serious cargo consignments for good and all. Poti Port currently serves as the European gateway for international trade in Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan, and is ideally located to become a future hub for Central Asia trade. It is one of the crucial points of Transcaucasia transit corridor stretching from Baku port at the Caspian Sea to Georgian Black Sea outlets including both Azei and Georgian railway. Ferry lines connect Poti to Ukraine and Bulgaria. And halt of Poti Port operation affected the entire railway and ferry infrastructure related to Poti Port taking an impact on transportation and cargo owner companies as an aftermath.

According to Zurab Shengelia, Head of Association of Georgian Forwarders, some ships were diverted to Turkish ports, others headed to Batumi Port [the other Black Sea outlet of Georgia] and most part of cargos were transported by vehicle that caused enormous traffic jams and demurrages stretching within 11 kilometers of thoroughfare from Batumi to Chakvi village.

“I cannot remember any this kind of large scale strike in Poti Port, it paralyzed not only Poti but the entire vehicle traffic near Batumi. Trucks were literally stacked as herrings in the can waiting for hours alongside the main road. My colleagues from abroad have been calling in fuse,” Shengelia told Georgian Journal.

He reminds that each delayed day in transporting/transit business equals to not financial losses alone but also undermines reputation of the country and transporting companies and it takes quite long to get the image back.

“We were at the critical level,” Irakli Iashvili, Chairman of Supervisory Council of East Gate Group transportation company, said in the interview with GJ. “That much long strike may take an irretrievable impact on any port. For example recently after approximately a month-long strike a Greek port Tyros lost all cargos completely. We should remember that Poti is not the single port nearby and cargos always can find other routes.”

Although parts of ships were sent to Batumi it did not discharge situation much inasmuch as Batumi Port capacity for dry cargos is much behind Poti Port. Batumi is focused on oil and oil product mainly and it lacks proper infrastructure for accepting all types of ships and dry cargos as Poti does.  Batumi processes only around 2-2.5 million tons of dry cargo per year while Poti Port handled with over 254 containers and 7 million 200 thousand tons of dry cargo in 2011. The rough calculation shows that during the 10-day strike it lost about 6940 containers and 196 721 tons of cargos. The cargo forwarding companies faced huge losses too.

“We sent several ships to Batumi while the fuel costs per ship to cover the distance between Poti and Batumi makes USD 35-40 thousand. Moreover, based on contracts in force majore case forwarding company are responsible to pay for all the delay-related costs including insurance, cargo storage and so forth. Due to this 10-day strike my company faced around USD 300 thousand of loss and the bigger company may be faced even a million,” Iashvili said. “The cargo owners also suffer as far as they have to pay credits tied with their cargos.”

Economic analysts believe the Poti Port strike is a part of well-calculated sabotage scheme organized by Trade Union largely believed to be an arm-group to the ex-ruling power of National Movement who most probably stands behind the strike scenarios.

Some analysts suggest that the best period for strikes was the pre-election not the post-election period especially after shocking facts of human abuse in prison were revealed. To avoid further escalation of discontent and sweep votes the ex-authority would have met all requests of protesting people instantly before the elections day. Instead strikes unleashed in the post-election period and simultaneously that looks suspicious and illogical for new government cannot remove defects of its predecessor so soon.

Fady Asly, Chairman of International Commerce Chamber (ICC) in Georgia, believes the upsurge of protestation in Georgia lately has political rather than social grounds and is targeted to discredit the new government. A well-organized hand manipulated by naive employees at Poti Port too. ICC appeals to Georgian government to investigate who stands behind this country-wide protestation tide. Economic analysts as well as entrepreneurs join the request.

“It looks very suspicious that all workers across Georgia went on strike almost simultaneously. Let the Prosecutors’ Office investigate the case and find the truth,” Iashvili said.

Other Stories
Inovative and reliable online shop in Georgia -
Status of Georgia as a business and tourism interesting country is growing from year to year.
Tbilisi TV Broadcasting Tower – Better than the Eiffel Tower?
It is planned to renovate the Tbilisi TV Broadcasting Tower, one of the landmarks in the capital.
Georgian Fusion Menu by The Biltmore Hotel Tbilisi
5,895,914 international visitors have visited Georgia between January and August of 2018. Compared to the previous year the number has increased by 12.2 per cent.
Advertising of gambling and lucrative games may become banned in Georgia
Advertising of gambling and lucrative games may become banned in Georgia. Those who violate the new rule would be fined GEL 10 000.
Lebanese café-lounge Beirut opens in Tbilisi
What is necessary to organize an unforgettable event? – Fun, emotions, lots of surprises, good music and delicious menu.
Georgia second among the fastest growing tourist destinations in Europe
Georgia is among the fastest growing tourist destinations in Europe. The data is published by the UN World Tourism Organization.
Bitmain launches world digital mining summit in Tbilisi, Georgia
Bitmain CEO Jihan Wu and Roger Ver, CEO of Head Speaker List featuring Circle, and Genesis Mining when Digital Mining Leaders Convene In Tbilisi on September 21-23
TBC Bank and Gazelle Finance have teamed-up to support Medical City, a leading healthcare provider in the western region of Georgia to launch the Western Regional Center Of Modern Medical Technologies.
Equiavlent to buried treasure – resources that are underused in Georgia
For 2018 the IMF Commission has forecast an annual economic growth for the Georgian economy of about 5,5%.
Does the quality of Georgian wine increase and how the export affects it
If we look at the data collected about modern Georgian wine, we will find out that the Georgian wines produced between 2015-2017 are much better in terms of their quality and Oenologic features rather than the wines produced between 2009-2011.
Japan simplifies the visa requirements for Georgian citizens
Diplomatic and economic relations between Georgia and Japan are now moving to a new phase. Recently Japan has decided to simplify the visa requirements for Georgian citizens.
M&S (Marks and Spencer) and H&M collections to be produced in Georgia
Garments manufacturer MGMTEX will start production of the M&S and H&M trendy collections from this September.
The World Digital Mining Summit to be held in Georgia
The summit is scheduled to take place between 21st-23rd September in the Hualing Hotel, Tbilisi, Georgia.
Galt and Taggart - Tourism Boom Continues in Georgia
Tourism has become one of the key drivers for the Georgian economy. Galt and Taggart has recently published research about the Georgian tourism sector in the first half of 2018.
"The worst dream for Putin is that Russians want to live in Georgia"
This year, visitors to the Adjara region would notice that there is a boom in construction in and around Batumi.
Underground gas storage facility to be built in Georgia
KfW, a German government-owned development bank signed a EUR 150 million promotional loan with the state-owned Georgian Oil and Gas Corporation (GOGC) for the construction of the first underground gas storage facility in Georgia.
New gambling rules for Georgia
Georgian lawmakers are preparing a new draft law relating to online-casinos and gambling that will seek to curb gambling addiction in Georgia.
How expensive is it to visit Georgia?
The Georgian Lari (GEL) is the official currency of Georgia and is the only legal means of payment in the entire territory of Georgia.
Trade with the EU and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) has grown significantly
Trade with the EU and the CIS has grown by 26% and 33.5 % respectively, says GeoStat, the Georgian National Statistics Office.
The unemployment rate decreases in Georgia
The unemployment rate decreased in Georgia by 1,9% and amounted to 12.1% in the 2nd quarter of 2018 compared with the previous quarter,
Memorandum of Understanding to be signed between Georgia and Malaysia
According to the Georgian Ambassador to Malaysia Nikoloz Apkhazava, Georgia plans to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Malaysia.
“Blauenstein Georgia” due to expand in Georgia
“Blauenstein Georgia” is planning to open more shops in Georgia. It is an agriculture company that sells meat products, meat and convenience food.
The amount of Direct Foreign Investment rises in Georgia
According to the information of the National Statistics Office of Georgia, the amount of direct foreign investment in Georgia has risen
It’s going to get  harder for foreigners to get residence permit in Georgia
It’s going to get harder for foreigners to get permit of residence in Georgia.
Mziuri Park in Tbilisi to be renovated soon
It was the dream of prominent Georgian writer Nodar Dumbadze that when the original Mziuri park was constructed and opened in 1892 that it should be a park for children,
Exchange Rates
GEL Exchange Rate
Other Stories
Recently Toyota rolled out Global Campaign under this slogan that reflects the Olympic and Paralympic Spirit of Encouragement,
A couple from Switzerland combines Swiss tradition and technology with Georgian products. Their cheese is made in the Georgian mountains and sold in local stores and hotels.
It has been more than five years since the residents of Lilo village, near Tbilisi, cannot open their windows.
63 000 GEL was received by the Georgian Agro Export Group which is just a small part of the European Neighbourhood Programme for Agricultural and Rural development.
Georgian entrepreneur Guka Tavberidze, who runs his own business in the UK and does it quite well, has been invited by BBC
The grand opening of 7-star The Biltmore Hotel Tbilisi took place in Georgia’s capital on July 31.
DUSHETI, Georgia – The Georgian government and the World Bank will allocate USD 5.6 million (12 million GEL) to fund
A new Georgian clothing brand named Person has emerged in Georgian market.
Georgia is in the midst of an economic maelstrom, Euronews reports.
Situation at Georgia’s mineral water market is interesting: over the last year, the volume of export has grown by 56 percent. According to “GeoStat”, over $114 million worth of mineral water was sold
GEL Exchange
November 2018
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30