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
Private Fleet vs. Dedicated: Which one is right for you?
Having the right fleet for your business can give you an advantage over the competition and lower transportation costs.
Download Today!
From the April 2017 Issue
While adoption rates have remained relatively flat, yard management systems (YMS) are helping logistics operations turn that important space between the loading dock and the gate into a vital link in the supply chain.
Information Management: Wearables come in for a refit
2017 Air Cargo Roundtable: Positive Outlook Driven by New Demand
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
Maximize Your LTL Driver Adherence with Real-time Feedback
This webinar shows how companies are using real-time performance data to optimize the scheduling of their city fleets, as well as the routing of their standard, accelerated and time-critical shipments.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
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...

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...