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Labor, Maritime Leaders Talk Earlier Port Hours

Negotiators for the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Association are considering a move to alleviate some of the West Coast marine gridlock: allowing ports to open earlier each day, according to Transportation Topics.

What’s going on: The proposed schedule change, which is called a “double flex,” is one of several topics under discussion in San Francisco as the ILWU and PMA negotiate a new, multi-year contract that would cover 22,000 workers at 29 locations in Oregon, Washington and California.

  • It would allow the ports to open at 6 a.m. and let truck drivers begin their days earlier. According to Harbor Trucking Association President Matt Schrap, the early morning is the most productive part of the day.
  • “Moving up the start time … might, for some of the dray truck drivers, result in another entire turn before they run out of time,” transportation economist Paul Bingham told the news outlet.

The supply chain factor: “The White House is closely watching what’s taking place at the bargaining table because of the impact a breakdown in negotiations could have on the national supply chain.”

In related news … Norfolk Southern has announced the first-of-its-kind OceanNS Bridge Express Service, a partnership with Union Pacific and Hapag-Lloyd that offers expedited coast-to-coast shipping.  

The last word: The NAM is in communication with federal policymakers to urge swift negotiations between the ILWU and the PMA. For more information, please contact NAM Vice President of Infrastructure, Innovation and Human Resources Robyn Boerstling.

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