North American shipment volumes and total spending on freight both dropped in January, following the pattern we have come to expect in the almost six years since the end of the Great Recession. Overall, the economy was much stronger in 2014, although the strong GDP growth of the second and third quarters was capped with more modest growth in the fourth quarter. The continuing labor and capacity woes at West Coast ports had an impact on shipment volume late in December, which is reflected in the January 2015 indexes.
This afternoon the PMA (Pacific Maritime Association) announced that weekend operations of vessel loading and unloading will be temporarily suspended. The PMA indicated that yard, rail and gate operations would continue at terminal operators’ discretion.
The National Retail Federation issued the following statement today from Vice President for Supply Chain Jonathan Gold on the news of a temporary suspension of port terminal operations at the West Coast containerized ports:“Temporarily suspending port operations is just another example of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and Pacific Maritime Association shooting themselves in the collective bargaining foot. The continuing slowdowns and increasing congestion at West Coast ports are bringing the fears of a port shutdown closer to a reality.
Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 257,000 in January, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 5.7 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Job gains occurred in retail trade, construction, health care, financial activities, and manufacturing.
On Wednesday afternoon the PMA (Pacific Maritime Association) announced that an “All-In” offer had been submitted to ILWU (International Longshore Warehouse Union) in an effort to bring closure to eight months of ongoing contract negotiations. Details pertaining to compensation and health care offer were disclosed within the PMA press release.
Union-led work slowdowns could halt the 29 U.S. West Coast ports, including the Port of Portland, in five to 10 days, the head of the shippers’ association said, urging the union to accept a new offer that includes 3 percent raises.
Seeking to break the deadlock in stalled West Coast longshore negotiations, the Pacific Maritime Association has made an “all-in” contract offer that would significantly increase compensation to members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU).
Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in January for the 20th consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 68th consecutive month, say the nation’s supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business®.The report was issued today by Bradley J. Holcomb, CPSM, CPSD, chair of the Institute for Supply Management® (ISM®) Manufacturing Business Survey Committee.
Chronic labor issues at the Port of Portland’s marine terminals appear to be reaching a crisis. Dockworkers walked off the job twice this week at Terminal 6, according to the terminal operator, another flash point in months of labor strife at Oregon’s only international container shipping terminal.
Welcome to the January 2015 Logistics Link, the MIQ Logistics monthly newsletter