Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!



Ocean Cargo: ILWU takes a holiday

image

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

By Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
July 06, 2011

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

image
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 .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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!

Recent Entries

After 20 years, two congressional mandates and countless lawsuits and lobbying efforts, safety advocates and the Teamsters union still say there are too many inexperienced rookie truck drivers hitting the road without sufficient behind-the-wheel training.

Congested U.S. port terminals, harbor and over-the-road truck and driver shortages, slower trains and longer rail terminal dwell times due to increased domestic rates have not only disrupted service but also driven intermodal rates and cargo handling costs up sharply.

Southern California shippers are getting a break on container dwell expenses for the next ten days as the Port of Long Beach announced that it had added an extra three days to the time that overseas import containers can remain on the docks without charge.

The long-simmering court battle over whether FedEx Ground’s workers are independent contractors or employees appears headed to the appellate courts—and maybe the U.S. Supreme Court.

Carload volume headed up 4.3 percent to 298,376, and intermodal units, at 273,376 containers and trailers were up 4.8 percent annually.

Article Topics

Blogs · Ocean Freight · Ocean Cargo · Logistics · All topics

Comments

Post a comment
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.


© Copyright 2013 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA