Ocean Cargo: ILWU takes a holiday

U.S. West Coast seaports honored Independence Day by shutting down operations on Monday, July 4. As well they should. It may come as a surprise to many, that the ports were closed on July 5th as well.

<p>July 5th saw a pitched confrontation between workers on one side and scabs and police on the other.<br />
Photo: San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Public Library</p>

July 5th saw a pitched confrontation between workers on one side and scabs and police on the other.
Photo: San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Public Library

in the News

State of Logistics 2016: Pursue mutual benefit
Other Voices: Don’t walk into the “Industry 4.0” tech trap
Is the era of high inventories behind us?
IATA urges air cargo modernization
Q&A: Doug Waggoner, Chief Executive Officer of Echo Global Logistics
More News
By ·

U.S. West Coast seaports honored Independence Day by shutting down operations on Monday, July 4. As well they should. It may come as a surprise to many, that the ports were closed on July 5th as well. That’s because for the past several decades the International Longshore and Warehouse Union – which controls all dockside operations – insists that its union struggles in 1934 be commemorated by honoring “Bloody Thursday” on the 5th (even if it’s not a Thursday). Three rioting longshoremen were killed during that shameful episode, and there’s no argument that it was a black day for San Francisco shipping.

But closing down all ports on the U.S. Pacific Rim for two days in a row sends another signal to beneficial cargo owners who have other shipping and sourcing alternatives. Witness the startling growth in cargo throughput at Canada’s Port Prince Rupert. Or look at the shift in some vessel deployments away from the transpacific altogether. The Asia-EU trade is trending upward, with East Coast and Gulf ports reaping the benefits of vessel first calls.

The labor situation is far more forgiving at those ocean cargo load centers, one might add, with no “Blood Thursdays” or any other “virtual” Thursday being taken as an extended holiday.  Readers will also note that other ad hoc work stoppages at U.S. West Coast ports have occurred recently to honor the unrelated deaths of Martin Luther King and Caesar Chavez.

So as we wait to see what other martyrs may be used as an excuse for holding a parking lot barbeque, we may well reflect upon the fact that shippers don’t share the same sentiment. For them, the issue is, and will always, be finding the most efficient and cost-effective solution for distribution of goods and services.

For related articles click here.


About the Author

Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at [email protected]

Subscribe to Logistics Management Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Article Topics

Logistics · Ocean Cargo · Ocean Freight · All Topics
Latest Whitepaper
The View from the New “Single Window”
The single window, officially known as the "International Trade Data System," operates via the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency's Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) platform, and serves as a single point of contact for all trade filings.
Download Today!
From the March 2017 Issue
WMS vendors are stepping up to the plate and developing functionalities and solutions that meet the complex needs of today’s companies. Our top analysts take a peek into these developments and discuss the DC of the future and the software that will support it.
5 Supply Chain Trends Happening Now
2017 Warehouse/DC Equipment Survey: Investment up as service pressures rise
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
2017 Trucking Regulations & Infrastructure Update
In this session our panel brings shippers up to date on the state of transportation regulations. Discussion will revolve around regulatory reform, aspects of the federal highway bill and what the transportation landscape looks like in the early days of the Trump administration.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
LM Exclusive: Major Modes Join E-commerce Mix
While last mile carriers receive much of the attention, the traditional modal heavyweights are in...
ASEAN Logistics: Building Collectively
While most of the world withdraws inward, Southeast Asia is practicing effective cooperation between...

2017 Rate Outlook: Will the pieces fall into place?
Trade and transport analysts see a turnaround in last year’s negative market outlook, but as...
Logistics Management’s Top Logistics News Stories 2016
From mergers and acquisitions to regulation changes, Logistics Management has compiled the most...