Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) said that it
will close dockworker shifts at 29 West Coast
ports to all loading and unloading of vessels on 4
out of the next 5 days: this Thursday Feb.
12 and over the weekend (Feb. 14 - 15) and also on
Monday Feb. 16. This announcement comes on the
heels of a shutdown this past weekend Feb. 7-8,
which the PMA announced on Feb. 6 (here).
PMA has voiced their objection to what they
described as ILWU's demand to have the right to
fire arbitrators that rule against them. Four
arbitrators act as independent third parties in
disputes between port operators and local unions.
When a contract is in place, and a disagreement
occurs, the two sides meet with an arbitrator and
lay out their respective cases, and both sides
must accept the arbitrator's decision, meaning
that disputes can be quickly resolved without
lengthy work disruptions.
ILWU's demand to be able to fire any arbitrator
would give them "veto-power over arbitrators'
rights to prevent slowdowns," said a PMA
statement. Currently both sides must agree to
dismiss arbitrators, said PMA.
dozens of ships sitting at anchor in the various
West Coast harbors waiting to be worked, the
shutdowns are exacerbating congestion and are
severely impacting other parts of the supply
Shipping said Tuesday its ships will stop calling
the Port of Portland, Oregon effective March 9.
Hanjin will continue to provide service to and
from Portland and nearby regions via rail and
truck transport to and from Seattle. Hanjin said
the new rotation for its PNH service will be:
Ningbo, Shanghai, Pusan, Prince Rupert, Seattle,
Vancouver, Pusan, Kwangyang, and Ningbo. The
decision to end service will have a big impact on
some shippers, as has strife in recent years
between longshoremen and the operator of Terminal
6 in Portland where Hanjin called.
week, the Harbor Trucking Association (HTA) of
Southern California announced that trucking
companies who serve the Ports of Long Beach and
Los Angeles have invoked force majeure. At issue
are substantial demurrage and per diem charges
caused by the ongoing labor dispute and resulting
port congestion. This declaration of force majeure
by Truckers states they cannot be held responsible
if they are unable to perform a contracted service
due to forces beyond their control.
is incurred storage fees if cargo exceeds the
allowed free-time on the dock. Per
Diem or Detention Fees are charged
to the drayage company when container equipment is
not returned to the pier within a certain number
of days and may not be apparent until weeks
later. Truckers routinely pass these fees on
to their customers, the importers and
HTA stated in a press conference on February 6
that this action falls under the terms of the
Uniform Intermodal Interchange and Facilities
Access Agreement (UIIA). This agreement defines
terms of service between drayage companies and
providers of container equipment. Truckers
participating in this action are claiming force
majeure in the same manner as ocean carriers who
retain force majeure clauses in all of their
West Coast port congestion is preventing truckers
from picking up and returning equipment on time
resulting in substantial demurrage and per diem
fees, which are in turn passed on to the
groups, along with Reps. Dave Reichert, R-Wash.
and Janice Hahn, D-Calif., criticized the Pacific
Maritime Association and ILWU for taking U.S.
commerce hostage over the months-long impasse in
labor negotiations. The National Retail Federation
and the Footwear Distributors and Retailers
Association said the worsening crisis at the ports
is causing big losses for traders and is teetering
on a full blown disaster. The National Retail
Federation said (here)
that the slowdown at the ports is impacting all
stages of the supply chain, from producers to
logistics workers and is threatening long-term
National Retail Federation said that the Obama
administration "cannot sit on the sidelines." The
Federation led dozens of House lawmakers in the
past days to urge the PMA and ILWU in a letter to
both parties to strike a deal on a contract.
Cesar Maldonado of AgTC is spearheading a
California Specific Letter to the California
Congressional Delegation on the situation at the
West Coast ports. California companies,
associations, and any others directly
or indirectly impacted by the port disruption such
as logistics providers, truckers, growers,
processors, freight forwarders, customs brokers,
vendors, associations, Chambers of Commerce, local
governments, commissions, (agriculture or
otherwise) are encouraged to add their
organization's name to the letter. If you are
interested in adding your company to the letter,
you can email mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org your
company/association name and county and contact
person's email address. Company and association
names are due by COB this coming Tuesday, Feb.
PMA had proposed a "comprehensive offer" to the
ILWU on Feb. 4, according to a statement (here).
However, despite the involvement of Federal
Mediators, the dispute continues unresolved. Peter
Friedmann of FBB Federal Relations expressed his
optimism that he believes an agreement may be
reached within the next few weeks.
J. Boyle & Co. will continue to monitor the
situation to keep our customers apprised.
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