Port and shipping industry leaders gathered here Thursday called for a swift resolution to a labor fight that is threatening the flow of cargo packages at ports along the West Coast.
Drayage, the business of carrying cargo containers by truck from a port terminal to a distribution center, warehouse, or rail ramp, is in a god-awful mess right now at ports from California to New Jersey.
Hundreds of longshore workers plan to take to the streets on January 22 to protest their employers’ decision to suspend vessel unloading night shifts at the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports.
Members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union are planning a community march down Harbor Boulevard in San Pedro to object to the Pacific Maritime Association’s move to not unload ships at night in order to move containers at congested terminal yards.
The Seattle Times
Drivers around West Seattle say they’ve never seen anything like the truck traffic that caused slowdowns and safety hazards all the way from Harbor Island to Interstate 5, most of Wednesday and Thursday.
The December Cass Freight Indexes followed expected seasonal trends with a 6.3 percent drop in shipment volume and a matching 6.7 percent decline in freight spending. However, the December figures mark the highest end ‐of‐year values for both indexes since the beginning of the recession in 2007.
A labor dispute between terminal operators at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach and their workers took another turn Tuesday, with operators being ordered to completely stop loading and unloading ships at night, starting Tuesday night.
Cargo traffic at several of the biggest U.S. West Coast ports has slowed to near gridlock, negotiators for shipping lines and terminal operators for 29 ports said on Monday as contract talks with the dockworkers’ union remain strained.
Year-over-year import cargo volume at the nation’s major retail container ports is expected to continue to rise during most of the first half of 2015 despite significant congestion still impacting West Coast ports, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.
Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 252,000 in December, and the unemployment rate declined to 5.6 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Job gains occurred in professional and business services, construction, food services and drinking places, health care, and manufacturing.
There is no post-holiday lull for the twin ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles. The ports continue to experience congestion that delays shipment of goods through Inland Southern California to the rest of the nation. Lee Peterson, spokesman for the Port of Long Beach, estimated there is currently an average of six container ships waiting to get into the ports. Those ships are likely carrying clothing to go on sale around Easter and building supplies for spring construction projects, he said in a phone interview.