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West Coast Port Battle Simmers

West Coast port unions and port management remain at odds as dock worker contract negotiations continue, according to CNBC.

The background: The International Longshore and Warehouse Union has been involved in labor negotiations with the Pacific Maritime Association since early spring 2022, and those working at the dock have been operating without a contract since July.

The looming threat: The ongoing negotiations are already putting pressure on productivity. The strain on the national shipping supply chain and domestic intermodal infrastructure will likely increase, causing additional ships and containers to be rerouted to the Gulf and East coasts.

  • “That diversion of containers to Long Beach, in addition to the continued rerouting of containers to the East Coast, led the Port of New York to take the No. 1 spot in processing import and export containers in August. The Port of Los Angeles fell to third,” according to CNBC.

What we’re saying: “Manufacturers have been vocal about the need for a resolution to the contract negotiations between the PMA and ILWU for months,” said NAM Director of Infrastructure, Innovation and Human Resources Policy Ben Siegrist.

  • “We were pleased to see some progress announced during the summer, but as this process continues without a clear conclusion, it adds significant uncertainty for strategic planning and industrial logistics operations.”
  • “We continue to urge the parties to finalize a long-term contract without delay or interruption to provide much needed certitude for the transportation supply chain heading into the holiday shipping season.”
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