ZIM integrated shipping Services' (ZIM) ceo, Dr Yoram Sebba, has confirmed that it is negotiating with Evergreen to use the Italian Terminal in Taranto as its Mediterranean hub. This does not mean that it will cease calling at Haifa, only that its vast transshipment cargo for the eastern Mediterranean will be transferred to the Italian port. Sebba said: "It is no secret that we have had some disturbances in Haifa, which may have been understood by local traders and shippers, but not the international community'. Since July 2004, Haifa has been rocked by a series of labour strikes, and more are set to follow in September, destroying confidence in the port. The problem for carriers is that other hub ports serving the eastern Mediterranean, such as Piraeus and Marsaxlokk, are currently creaking at the seams due to surging imports from Asia, so they are not spoilt for choice when looking for alternatives.