One of the newest port construction projects in the Middle East will be in Israel. Haifa is currently the largest port in Israel, it has been for many decades and it is state-owned. A Chinese construction firm is starting to construct the new Israeli port, which is slated to take about seven years to complete. When it is built, the new port will include state-of-the-art facilities for loading or unloading cargo, large warehouses and office space for the shipping employees. More importantly, the new port will be able to handle the larger container vessels that are on the ocean. Haifa lacks the facilities to handle these larger vessels, and thus the new port will help improve the Israeli economy and their logistics industry. Freight forwarders, carriers and the Israeli Government support the new port.
There has been one roadblock: the dockworkers. Upon hearing the news of a new project, the stevedores at the port in Haifa went on strike twice in a month. The workers are organized under the Israeli Transport Workers Union. The reason that they went on strike is because they oppose the new port expansion plans. The dockworkers are worried that the port will be privatized and there will be new shareholders. Thus, they want a new deal in place. The Haifa Labor Court ruled against the strike and declared that the dockworkers must return to the port to work.
When the port construction is complete, this will be exciting news for businesses that want to ship ocean freight to or from Israel. It seems that Israel can finally handle the larger ships and thus more goods can be traded to Israel now.