Libya’s idle ports – container volume down and dock workers join the fight

After the power vacuum left by the toppling of Muammar Gaddafi, Libya’s United Nations’ backed government has struggled to bring security to Libya. The expansion of militant groups in the country and the ongoing political uncertainty, are having a negative effect on the country’s economy.

Oil production remains critical to the economy, and over the last year, Libya has lost a million barrels of oil a day. Production is currently stagnate at 330,000 to 400,000 barrels a day. Protesters affiliated with the Petroleum Facilities Guard (PFG), have also shut down Al-Hariga oil port in Tobruk city, due a salary dispute.

Both the ports in Benghazi and Derna remain close, due to the ongoing conflict. A Loadstar article notes, that the idle Benghazi ports’ dockers have joined the fight. Tobruk is the only fully-functioning eastern port, and is struggling to cope with the container volume. The port is also running out of warehouse space, and a salary dispute is making matters worse.

Some container volume has been diverted to the Port of Misrata. However,container volume in the country has dropped 33% since 2015, with most imports limited to essential commodities. With airstrikes and the ongoing conflict, the Misrata port was reclassified as a war zone, increasing rates and driving smaller importers out of business.