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 ·

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

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

Ocean Cargo · Ocean Freight · Trade · All Topics
Latest Whitepaper
Outsourced Transportation Management
All the benefits of owning a fleet without the headache of managing it.
Download Today!
From the August 2017 Logistics Management Magazine Issue
Which carriers, third-party logistics providers, and North American ports have crossed the service excellence finish line ahead of their competitors? Our readers have cast their votes, and now it’s time to introduce this year’s winners of the coveted Quest for Quality Awards.
BMW Takes the Inland Road to Efficiency
Global Logistics: No Shortcuts to Security
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
Getting the most out of your 3PL relationship
Join Evan Armstrong, president of Armstrong & Associates, as he explains how creating a balanced portfolio of "Top 50" global and domestic partners can maximize efficiency and mitigate risk.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
34th Annual Quest for Quality Awards: Winners Revealed
Which carriers, third-party logistics providers, and North American ports have crossed the service...
2017 Top 50 3PLs: Investment and Consolidation Maintain Traction
The trend set over the past few years for mergers and acquisitions has hardly subsided, and a fresh...

2017 Salary Survey: Fresh Voices Express Optimism
Our “33rd Annual Salary Survey” reflects more diversity entering the logistics management...
LM Exclusive: Major Modes Join E-commerce Mix
While last mile carriers receive much of the attention, the traditional modal heavyweights are in...