West Coast Congestion Update

As we previously reported, the current  ILWU contract is about to expire on June 30th. However, industry experts do not predict a strike or lockout situation at this time. Today at the Agriculture Transportation Coalition AgTC conference in San Francisco Per Bill Mongelluzzo, senior editor of the Journal of Commerce   indicated that the relationship between the PMA and ILWU leadership is strong, unlike the conflictual relationship that existed in the 2002 negotiations, which ended in a lockout.  Mongelluzzo and others predict that a contract will be signed by July with no major work disruptions.

Recent reports of work slowdowns that have been circulating appear to be false alarms.  Peter Friedmann, executive director of the Agriculture Transportation Coalition discussed the issue with various steamship lines and the port director of Los Angeles and reports “that the terrible congestion at the ports of LA and Long Beach is not due to any effort by the longshoreman to influence the negotiations.  Rather it is a situation where several terminals did not have the proper chassis and related equipment.  It is only at certain terminals, not at all terminals at those two ports.  Unfortunately those terminals ordered or received the wrong chassis and other equipment, and it will take a number of weeks, perhaps a number of months before the appropriate equipment arrives.  Until then, those terminals will be unable to work in normal fashion, and there will be severe delays.”

RCLAgency will continue to monitor the situation and report further updates once available