US West and East Coast Shipping delays continue – No hope in sight


West Coast port operations status
(re-print from select news sources)

Pursuant to earlier news flashes, the following is an update of today’s ILWU/PMA contract negotiations and the latter’s impact – specifically on the US West Coast:

We will continue to provide you with brief updates as conditions change on the West Coast, Gulf & East Coasts.

LA-Long Beach container ship backup reaches 2-year high

Twelve container ships were anchored in the waters off the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach this morning, the most waiting at one time in San Pedro Bay in two years, surpassing the previous record set on Oct. 26 as congestion continues to crush the largest container gateway in the Americas. The queue dipped to eight on Monday, down from nine on Sunday but up from seven on Saturday and six on Friday, according to the Marine Exchange of Southern California. Last week, the high was on Thursday, Nov. 6, with 10 ships at anchor in the afternoon. Waiting for berths this morning were APL Holland, operated by APL; MSC Francesca and Navarino, operated by Mediterranean Shipping Co.; YM Efficiency and OOCL Kuala Lumpur, operated by OOCL (USA); Hammonia Roma, operated by Hapag-Lloyd; Hanjin Netherlands, operated by Hanjin; Ever Deluxe and Ever Learned, operated by Evergreen; Cap Corrientes, operated by Hamburg Süd; NYK Meteor, operated by NYK Line; and Shengking, operated by Interocean Steamship. Four of those ships were due to berth today, with another four set to arrive, the Marine Exchange said. In the next three days, 19 container ships are scheduled to arrive; of those, 15 are due to berth and four are set to anchor. There’s usually zero wait times for container ships at Los Angeles-Long Beach, according to Capt. J. Kipling Louttit, executive director of the Marine Exchange of California, a sign that congestion remains a serious problem at the port complex. The Marine Exchange has been providing with daily updates on container ships anchored in San Pedro Bay since the end of October.

LA-Long Beach Drivers press for strike & impact congestion

According to today’s news, the impact of some drivers’ slow-down is not yet affecting port operations significantly.

Only the next few days will tell.

West coast dock talks become testy as go-slows move south to LA

US WEST coast port dockers’ contract negotiations are continuing despite accusations of bad faith on both sides, reports Lloyd’s List. The employers of the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) said that contrary to promises of upholding “normal work practices” during the talks the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) has engaged go-slows. It started in Seattle and Tacoma in the Pacific Northwest, and has since spread south to LA and Long Beach in the form of the union refusing to supply crane operators to keep highly congested San Pedro ports’ cargo moving. While ILWU denies engaging in such tactics, attributing the congestion to the lack of chassis and drivers, the union also denies making any promise to abide by “normal work practices” because the union and management disagree what they are.

The PMA said that on short notice, the union said it would not dispatch qualified ILWU members operate yard cranes. But ILWU spokesman Craig Merrilees said:

“The numerous, non-labor related causes of the congestion problem up and down the west coast are well documented. The union has expressed concerns about [the PMA’s] deceitful media tactics and the corrosive impact of such tactics on collective bargaining.”

Said PMA spokesman Wade Gates:

“We have used the same dispatch procedure since 1999. After 15 years, the ILWU decides to change the rules at the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports.”

While this is the height of the peak system on the west coast, it will soon pass, and with it, the bargaining strength of the union as the world shipping community enters into the winter slack season and has less need of dockers.

This entry was posted in Public News on by Aaron Poole.

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