More on East Coast port strike implications
December 28, 2012 - LM Editorial
If the International Longshoremen’s Association and the U.S. Maritime Alliance fail to come to terms on a master contract by midnight tomorrow, East Coast shippers will face a dismal start of the new year.
Most supply chain professionals will recall with dread the West Coast shutdown ten years ago, when the International Longshore and Warehouse Association staged their action against terminal operators. President George W. Bush invoked the Taft-Hartley to lift the lock out in 2002 and restored negotiations, but It took shippers years to recover from that event…and this was even before the Great Recession.
Now, with the nation still struggling to ramp up trade growth, there’s justifiable apprehension that a strike would represent a crippling blow to that effort. Indeed, many logistics managers are maintaining that considerable damage has already been done.
As we approach 2013 on the Gregorian calendar, international shippers are aware that the Lunar New Year is just around the corner. Goods ordered from the Far East prior to this celebration may well be caught in supply chain choke points as a consequence of this proposed strike.
Furthermore, we may well see ocean carriers reconfiguring deployments on a long-term basis to mitigate the anticipated impact of this significant disruption. This will no doubt harm the very ports that create and sustain jobs for millions of Americans in related industries.
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