Friday, February 6, 2015

NIGHTMARE AT THE DOCKS: A Major Labor Slowdown at West Coast Ports is Slowing Down Shipping Related Transportation Big Time

I have covered the port strike in the ALERT. I believe it is having an impact on manufacturing.

An ALERT subscriberalso  sent me this email note earlier this week:

Hello All,

As you all know by now, the west coast ports are continuing to be affected by congestion and delays which will be getting worse the closer we get to Chinese New Year (2/19-2/24) without a contract in place.  Below are some snap shots of the ports before and after these delays / congestion for your reference. We will continue to keep you posted with updates as received on the ongoing negotiations. On a good note, the weekend isn’t too far away.

Before congestion


Below is the current ocean traffic on the WC, which may need a traffic light in the water…..

Now it appears other are taking notice. Business Insider reports today:
 Japanese automakers are being forced to ship some car parts to U.S. plants by expensive air cargo and tweak production processes as a protracted labor dispute at U.S. West Coast ports shows no signs of letting up. 
Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd's Subaru, the fastest-growing brand in the United States, said this week that it now had to shoulder an extra 7 billion yen ($60 million) in costs a month due to air freight, which has seen prices go up with the extra demand.
Things may get worse and go from a slowdown to a complete halt.. Bloomberg is reporting:
Union-led work slowdowns could halt the 29 U.S. West Coast ports 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. James McKenna, the president of the Pacific Maritime Association, said backups and delays at many of the ports are harming farmers, manufacturers and consumers as the flow of goods approaches a “coast-wide meltdown.” He called on the International Longshore and Warehouse Union to accept management’s second formal contract proposal since negotiations began last May.

“We’re not considering a lockout,” McKenna said on a conference call with reporters, his first public comments since the talks began. “What I’m really saying is that this system will bring it to a stop. Once that happens, we really don’t have a choice.'...
McKenna blamed the union for work slowdowns that have contributed to congestion at the largest West Coast ports, including Los Angeles, Long Beach, Oakland, Seattle and Tacoma. Twenty-two ships were queued up Wednesday at the harbor shared by the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports, up from as few as four in mid-December, according to the Marine Exchange of Southern California, in one measure of the backups confronting shippers.
 Since early November, the longshore union has been dispatching fewer crane operators in Los Angeles and Long Beach and slowing cargo movement in Oakland, Seattle and Tacoma, according to a Feb. 3 maritime association presentation. McKenna said productivity at many ports is down by as much as half, suggesting that cargo movement “will collapse under its own weight.”...
A 20-day lockout now would cost more than $2 billion a day, the association said in a report last year, including losses to railroads, ocean carriers and the broader economy.


  1. It would be nice if you could find some other source for those images. They are broken in all of my browsers. Our company has been hit incredibly hard by this.

  2. It's shocking to see the salaries and benefits of these union "workers." Much like Detroit auto "workers," they'll eventually price themselves out of jobs. Stupendously greedy and stupid. And corrupt. Don't forget the corruption. It is epic.

    I normally don't wish ill of anyone, but these people need to feel the pain for their collective stupidity.

  3. The links do not work for me.