April 23, 2014 - As you may have read in the transportation and logistics trade media, on June 30, 2014 the waterfront contract between the International Longshore and Warehouse Association Union (ILWU) and Pacific Maritime Association ( port terminal operators) is set to expire.
If a strike occurs at U.S. West Coast ports between the states of Washington and California, 68 percent of all containerized import shipments to the US will be impacted.
With a strike or lockout in effect, international shippers will incur service disruptions on rail and other modes of transportation, and capacity and equipment challenges throughout North America.
A one-day strike could result in a one-to-two week delay. If a strike lasts longer than one day it could mean a three-to-six week delay. The delay time for shipments will increase significantly by each day a work stoppage continues and be influenced by the backlog of vessels waiting to berth.
While negotiations between the ILWU and PMA will likely not begin in earnest until April or May, expect both organizations to stake positions in the trade and general news media as the deadline nears.
BDP International and its ocean transportation unit, BDP Transport, are monitoring the course of negotiations and will be reporting on progress, analyzing impacts and offering contingency solutions.
While BDP remains diligent in supporting our clients with contingency services, we encourage our clients to consider a number of the following remedial options early on.
If a prolonged work stoppage were to occur, the options and latitude to act and mitigate the impact will directly correlate with advanced planning: Contingency Planning and Preparation
Source: BDP International, BDP Transport, LLC