The Toy Industry Association (TIA) is encouraging members to develop contingency plans for shipments scheduled to arrive through ports on the West Coast. Upcoming labor negotiations between dockworkers and maritime employers could become contentious, resulting in a possible port shutdown or strike throughout the coast that would have a negative impact on the toy industry during the busy pre-holiday shipping season, according to the TIA.

Contract talks between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA), which are expected to begin in May, center on an estimated $150 million in excise taxes owed under the Affordable Health Care Act for the health care plans of ILWU workers. If negotiations extend beyond the July 1 expiration date of the current contract, a shutdown or strike could occur on the West Coast, costing the U.S. economy an estimated $1 billion each day.

Disruptions may be partially avoided by conducting a thorough review of supply chains and diverting cargo through alternate ports in Mexico or the East and Gulf Coast ports of the U.S. Any questions may be directed to Rebecca Mond, TIA director of federal government affairs, at