According to a statement made this morning to Bloomberg, the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are effectively shut down as workers didn’t turn up again this morning after workers last night refused the work assignments given last night. Moving into the second day of closure, there are massive concerns that operations will be delayed if cargo isn’t serviced soon.
The ILWU and PMA are no strangers to conflict. Since May of 2022, they’ve been involved in talks to come up with a new labor agreement, occasionally stalling and requiring short cooling off periods before more progress could be made. The idea of a work stoppage isn’t unique to post pandemic logistics. In 2015 authorities had to invoke the Taft-Hartley Act to get work started when previous negotiations fell apart and cargo was in danger of stalling. As the former busiest ports in the nation, the lost market share can’t hope to be regained without an agreement.
Part of that market share moved to the east coast when the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports were full of cargo, seeing vessel queues numbering more than one hundred as congestion swelled in the San Pedro Bay. Undoubtedly that disruption and the skyrocketing import numbers caused dockworkers and longshoremen to rethink compensation, working almost around the clock during the pandemic regardless of social distancing and staffing issues. Now that things have calmed, they’re looking for compensation.
It remains to be seen what we can expect come Monday mornging, but as always your Nelson International representatives will be here updating you with the latest news. If there is no forward progress, we’ll start planning for contingencies to help you keep your cargo moving through the stoppage. If you have concerns about your west coast cargo, reach out to your Nelson representative today.