POTENTIAL LONGSHOREMEN STRIKE
On September 30, 2012, the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) labor contract is set to expire. The ILA is currently negotiating with the United States Maritime Alliance (USMX) to reach an agreement to avoid a potential strike. If talks breakdown, a work stoppage could occur at the East and Gulf Coast ports creating a disruption of service. It is expected that West Coast ports will experience long delays as cargo bound for the East and Gulf ports would be diverted to the West Coast. There is also the possibility of a work slowdown as organized labor on the West Coast may demonstrate solidarity with the ILA.
Importers and exporters should develop contingency plans like routing cargo via Canada or Mexico. Air freight is another option to avoid disruption. Advance bookings should be made in an attempt to protect space at the ports you plan to use.