U.S. shippers may opt for air cargo alternatives on West Coast

By Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
July 08, 2014 - LM Editorial

When it comes to assessing the current state of the U.S. West Coast dockside labor situation, air cargo providers may be contemplating this verity:  “it’s an ill wind that blows no one any good.”

A sharp spike in air cargo demand has been evident ever since the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) began negotiating a new contract several months ago.

According to Brandon Fried, executive director of the Airforwarders Association, some of that business may never return to the waterfront.

“Our shippers use all modes of transport in their operations,” he says, “but we are seeing a very significant shift back to air now…especially with components of the perishable market. The disruptions at the ports are too unstable…especially now that drayage has become part of the equation.”

As LM has reported, independent truckers and Teamster drivers have staged several demonstrations at Southern California terminals in recent days. While these are not sanctioned strikes, shippers may be unnerved by the potential consequences.

An on-again, off-again trucker actions at the Port of Vancouver also has shippers concerned.

“The air cargo industry suffered when the air controllers were fired in the 1980s,” observes Fried. “And 9/11 dealt a serious blow to this sector for a long time, too. But we’ve recovered from those setbacks and it appears that air carriers are poised to capture freight for a long time.”



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

The Department of Commerce reported that January retail sales were up 0.2 percent compared to December and up 3.7 percent annually at $449.9 billion, and the NRF reported that January retail sales, which exclude automobiles, gas stations, and restaurants, rose 0.6 percent over December and 1.4 percent compared to January 2015.

On the freight shipments side, Cass reported that January shipments––at 1.025––trailed December by 1.3 percent and January 2016 by 0.2 percent. These declines were less than the 4.9 percent drop from November to December, though, and January shipments still topped the 1.0 mark for the 65th straight month in December.

The Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reported this week that its Freight Transportation Services Index (TSI) saw a 0.4 percent decline from November to December, its second straight decline on the heels of a 1.0 percent decrease from October to November.

Carloads saw a 11.7 percent annual decline at 241,680, and intermodal containers and trailers rose 10.5 percent to 262,830

An amendment to the International Maritime Organization’s Safety of Life at Sea convention will go into effect requiring all shippers (importers and exporters) to certify and submit the Verified Gross Mass – the combined weight of the cargo and the container – to the steamship line and terminal operator in advance of loading the container aboard a vessel.

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