As we have chronicled here in recent days, U.S. agricultural shippers are demanding that a solution to the West Coast dockside labor problem be made a national priority. They argue – and quite rightly from our point of view – that the lack of progress in contract talks between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) threaten the President’s own National Export Initiative.
“The LEI picked up in September, after no change in August, and the strengths among its components have been very widespread over the past six months,” said Ataman Ozyildirim, Economist at The Conference Board. “The outlook for improving employment and further income growth are expected to support the moderate expansion in the U.S economy for the remainder of the year.” – Conference Board
The November 17th, port congestion surcharge previously announced last Friday has been postponed by ocean carriers. This halt to the surcharge implementation has come after FMC review, and other contributing factors. The postponed surcharge would have affected cargo moving both eastbound and westbound from West coast ports.
American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index rose 0.5% in October, following a revised decline of 0.8% during the previous month. In October, the index equaled 132.1 (2000=100), which was the second highest level on record after August.
Compared with October 2013, the SA index increased 4.5%, up from September’s 2.9% year-over-year gain. Year-to-date, compared with the same period last year, tonnage is up 3.2%.
MIQ Logistics is providing you with an amendment to our earlier Supply Chain Alert.
Since 12:00 (noon) c.t. today, several ocean carriers are sending customer advisory notices regarding a Transpacific Westbound (TPWB) port congestion surcharge, which comes on the heels of the last update which was related to the Transpacific Eastbound (TPEB) port congestion surcharge.
The Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) today issued the following update regarding continued union slowdowns and work actions at the major West Coast ports. The union actions are tied to the ongoing negotiations for a new coast-wide labor contract. Negotiations began in May for the contract that expired July 1, and talks have been occurring almost constantly for the past six months.
More than 40 percent of the goods that come into the United States from overseas come through the twin ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. That fact alone gives thousands of truck drivers who haul those goods from the ports to warehouses considerable leverage with big companies (like Walmart, Cosco, and Home Depot) whose goods are mostly made in Asia as well as with the shipping companies, the municipal Harbor Commission which oversees the port, and the trucking companies who employ the drivers.
The Freight Transportation Services Index (TSI), which is based on the amount of freight carried by the for-hire transportation industry, rose 0.3 percent in September from August, rising for the third consecutive month, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics. The September 2014 index level (121.5) was 28.5 percent above the April 2009 low during the most recent recession.
For months, contract negotiations between a powerful union and multinational shipping lines progressed amicably in public, even though roughly 20,000 West Coast dockworkers labored without a contract.
Now the public harmony has been shattered, raising fears that a strike or lockout could close ports up and down the coast and cause economic pain.