Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!


U.S. Ag shippers voice concern over possible port closures

U.S. exporters are "extremely worried" of massive economic loss, to their individual companies and all others in the supply chain
By Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
September 13, 2012

As the International Longshoreman’s Association and the U.S. Maritime Alliance (marine terminal operators at the ports) prepare to resume negotiations, The Agriculture Transportation Coalition is telling its members that the disruptive impact is already being felt in locations far from the coastal seaports

“The prospect of a strike would cripple international commerce, and has U.S. exporters extremely worried of massive economic loss, to their individual companies and all others in the supply chain,” said Peter Friedmann, Executive Director of the Agriculture Transportation Coalition.

Friedmann said that ocean carriers charged with moving agriculture and forest products exports to global markets, have announced “dramatic” freight rate surcharges, contingent on port disruption at any North American port.

“Such surcharges increase the cost of transportation to the extent that foreign customers could not afford U.S. agriculture products, and will turn to sources in other countries,” he said.

The prospect that these surcharges will be imposed, are already causing agriculture producers to slow production if they can, to hold back on export commitments, added Friedmann.

“So the economic injury has already begun, even before the current east and gulf coast longshore labor contract expires on September 30,” he said.

The AgTC is asking the Administration and its Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service to do all in its authority to bring the parties together, to either resolve differences quickly so the prospect of a strike or port closure is eliminated, or to gain an agreement to continue working, while negotiations continue.

“This is harvest season for much of our agriculture destined for foreign markets,” said Friedmann. “Failure to keep the ports operating at full capacity this fall will have devastating impact on agriculture and thus the entire economy. The uncertainty is already slowing production and deliveries,”

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

In an effort to help buyers of freight transportation and logistics services to better understand the required best practices in order to be a shipper of choice for their carrier partners, non asset-based third-party logistics (3PL) services provider Transplace said this week it has rolled out a Preferred Shipper Checklist.

For a new facility in Chicago, DHL Global Forwarding converted to electric lift trucks. The result? Better uptime and a cleaner environment.

January carloads dropped 16.6 percent, or 192,747 annually, to 968,042, and intermodal volume was up 3.4 percent, or 34,523 units, annually at 1,039,621 containers and trailers.

While the PMA-ILWU dispute was settled last spring, a new port-related labor issue popped up on the East Coast last week, when a labor dispute on Friday, January 29 occurred when union members of the International Longshoremen Association (ILA), the largest union of maritime workers in North America, walked off the docks at the Port of New York and New Jersey, the largest East Coast port and second largest U.S. port.

“Sea Strangulation" explains how the United States has become vulnerable to Chinese maritime coercion and details a challenge from China that the U.S. is ill-prepared to meet.

Article Topics

News · Ocean Freight · Ocean Cargo · Trade · All topics

Comments

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


© Copyright 2016 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA