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Threat Of LA-LB Gridlock Results in Plea To White House

On Thursday, November 6th, the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) released a press release accusing the International Longshore & Warehouse Union (ILWU) of now targeting the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. The PMA indicates in their statement that since Monday November 3rd, the ILWU has been “refusing to dispatch hundreds of qualified, skilled workers for critically important positions transporting containers in terminal yards at the nations’s largest port complex.”

This latest PMA report on reported slowdowns at the ports of LA-LB, come on the heels of their initial accusations that the ILWU had reduced productivity at the Pacific Northwest ports of Tacoma and Seattle. “The ILWU’s job actions which have already crippled operations at the ports of Seattle and Tacoma, now threaten to do the same in Los Angeles and Long Beach. Together, these four ports collectively handle nearly 80% of all containerized cargo at West Coast ports.”

Also on Thursday, the National Retail Federation (NRF) submitted a plea (including over 100 undersigned associations) seeking help from the White House to “ensure the situation does not escalate to a complete shutdown on West Coast ports.”

The plea from the NRF points to the high congestion levels at the ports since September, and expresses concern over the recent press releases from both the ILWU and PMA accusing the other of “reneging” on their commitment to continue port operations throughout the negotiations. The NRF ask for immediate action from the federal government in helping avoid a shut-down at the ports, and suggested that both parties begin working with the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) to assist in the negotiations.

The NRF sites a reminder within their plea to the White House that the last time there was a shut-down (12 years ago), it cost the U.S. economy $1 billion a day and the ports did not recover from the backlog for a year.

MIQ Logistics will continue to monitor this situation closely and will track updates on our Ocean Freight Forwarding Market Update page, as they become available.

For more information, please contact your local MIQ Logistics representative.