San Francisco Bay bar pilots up the ante

By Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
May 10, 2011 - LM Editorial

While union dockworkers and truckers have long been criticized for making U.S. West Coast ports weaker, another faction of organized labor may pose an even greater threat to the competitiveness of one major ocean cargo gateway.

Last week, the California State Board of Pilot Commissioners voted to recommend an increase in the rates and surcharges paid to the pilots who guide cargo ships in and out of the San Francisco Bay.

If enacted, shipping through the Port of Oakland will suddenly become more costly.

This action by the Board will be forwarded to the state Legislature, which must approve the increases before they become effective. San Francisco Bar Pilots made an average individual income of nearly $400,000 in 2010.

This proposed rate increase, coupled with predicted growth in shipping, will result in a projected income of around $530,000 per pilot by 2015.

Prior to the hearing, the San Francisco Bar Pilots Association submitted a proposal to the Board of Pilot Commissioners requesting a rate increase of 22 percent over four years.

This request would have meant that the pilots who work in the San Francisco Bay would have pushed their projected income to more than $600,000 by 2015. The Pacific Merchant Shipping Association (PMSA), representing ratepayers, also submitted a rate change request, one that would have resulted in pilot net incomes of $425,000 by 2016.

“We appreciate the important work done by harbor pilots everywhere and believe they should be fairly compensated for their work,” said John McLaurin, PMSA president. “However, for the State of California to recommend increasing this rate and further driving up pilot compensation is irresponsible and unjustified.”

The San Francisco pilots already are the highest paid in the state. When compared to the Port of Los Angeles, where pilots work the nation’s busiest container port and have a base compensation of $227,000 per year, it is overwhelmingly clear that they already have significantly higher pay than their peers.

“We will vigorously fight this exorbitant pay increase in the Legislature,” added McLaurin. “This increased cost directly hinders the ability of our members to improve our ports’ infrastructure to make them more efficient, invest in the environment and create jobs.”

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

Seasonally-adjusted (SA) for-hire truck tonnage in July headed up 1.3 percent on the heels of a 0.8 percent increase in June. The ATA’s not seasonally-adjusted (NSA) index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by fleets before any seasonal adjustment, was 133.3 in July, which outpaced June’s 132.3 by 0.8 percent, and was up 2.8 percent annually.

Volumes for the month of July at the Port of Long Beach (POLB) and the Port of Los Angeles (POLA) were mixed, according to data recently issued by the ports. Unlike May and June, which saw higher than usual seasonal volumes, due to the West Coast port labor situation, July was down as retailers had completed filling inventories for back-to-school shopping.

With a 0.8 cent decrease, this week’s average price per gallon is $3.835 and stands as the lowest price since hitting $3.844 the week of November 25, 2013.

LTL carriers are rapidly investing in expensive, on-dock, three-dimensional size measurement capturing machinery, and they are hoping one day of being able to more accurately charge shippers rates based on the actual dimensions of their shipments, rather than the traditional weight-and-distance-based formula that has been in effect since the 1930s or even earlier.

The Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) recently reported that its Freight Transportation Services Index (TSI) dipped 0.9 percent from May to June.

About the Author

Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review. Patrick covers 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. Contact Patrick Burnson

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