West Coast Ports May Have to Pick up the Slack
December 21, 2012 - SCMR Editorial
While shippers using East and Gulf Coast ports brace for the imminent strike of ILA dockworkers, the West Coast shipping community is also expressing concern.
According to Oakland, California-based Devine Intermodal, shippers may be facing port congestion and vessel delays. That means more rotation changes and rail embargoes.
Furthermore, analysts noted, shippers may be slapped with a substantial “strike surcharge” imposed by the carriers.
Shippers are advised to scrutinize their contracts, as some include information on assessments made on this basis. Even shippers not reliant on ports served by the ILA can be affected.
West Coast shippers are still recovering from the The 8-day strike staged by International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 63 Office Clerical Unit (“OCU”) against terminals at the Port of Los Angeles and Port of Long Beach last November.
United States Maritime Alliance (USMX) and the ILA have been in a protracted battle over the payment of container royalties, which are charges based on the weight of cargo received at each port. Carriers have been insisting that these variable charges be fixed, as they represent a cost that can not be passed on to shippers.
The ILA maintains that these charges are part of their compensation.
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