ashdod port 88 224.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The crisis situation at the Ashdod and Haifa ports is estimated to have cost exporters and importers NIS 110 million in damages since the beginning of the year, the Manufacturers Association of Israel reported on Monday.
"A number of ship companies have started to abandon their direct daily routes to and from Israel, which is leading to an increase in cost and a slowdown of sea transportation," said Zvi Plada, chairman of the Sea and Air Transportation Committee at the Association. "The incurred damage since the beginning of the year estimated at NIS 110m. is not 'bothering' the Transportation Ministry, which is continuing to ignore the severity of the situation at the ports."
Plada added that the situation at the two ports was deteriorating as the Haifa port was operating with only 60 percent capacity. As a result 16 ships were waiting outside the Haifa port and five large ships inside, which are expected to be delayed for two to three days. The waiting line at the Ashdod port is estimated to be even worse, where 15 ships were waiting outside the platforms and seven at the platforms with a waiting time of between two to three days for each shipping container. Waiting times for regular ships or ships carrying wheat was expected to be between five to six days.
Plada is urging Transport Minister Shaul Mofaz to act immediately to find solutions to the situation in an effort to avert complete paralysis of foreign trade channels to Israel in the near future and to stop the departure of the shipping companies from the Israeli ports.
Meanwhile, the Transportation Ministry's Director-General Gideon Siterman, on Monday, announced the first hearing ahead of the implementation of the port tariff reform, which will come into effect at the beginning of next year. The hearing, scheduled for October 28, will include all port and sea transportation companies.