NRF Reports Imports Are Rising as West Coast Ports Recover

nrfImport cargo volume at the nation’s major retail container ports is expected to rise 8 percent this month over the same time last year as West Coast ports continue to recover from a backlog of cargo that built up before a tentative new labor agreement was signed, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Hackett Associates.

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Port of Long Beach Seminar Considers Key Issues for Holiday Shipping Season and Beyond

TIALogoThe Toy Industry Association (TIA) will host an educational seminar at the Port of Long Beach on May 21, intended to help toy companies gain a better understanding of what caused the West Coast port delays—and to provide information for making logistical decisions going forward.

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NRF Predicts Imports to Rise as West Coast Ports Work on Backlog

nrfAccording to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Hackett Associates, import cargo volume at the nation’s major retail container ports is expected to rise an unusually high 16.9 percent this month over the same time last year as West Coast ports begin to dig out from a backlog of cargo, which built up during the just-concluded contract negotiations with dockworkers.
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Deal Reached to End Severe West Coast Port Backlog

Multiple sources report that the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) have reached a tentative agreement on a new five-year labor contract, ending several months of back-ups and delays at 29 West Coast ports.

The deal was reached with the assistance of U.S. Secretary of Labor Tom Perez and Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service Deputy Director Scot Beckenbaugh, following more than nine months of talks. As reported by Bloomberg News this past Friday, talks had broken down this month over a union demand that it be able to fire arbitrators in workplace grievances. The two sides had reached terms over salaries, benefits, the right of union members to maintain and repair truck chassis used to haul shipping containers, and health care. [Read more...]

NRF Calls on White House to Intervene in West Coast Ports Dispute

nrfFollowing news that terminal vessel operations at west coast ports have been suspended, the National Retail Federation (NRF) called on the White House to intervene.

“The slowdowns need to end,” says NRF Vice President for Supply Chain Jonathan Gold. “It’s time for the White House to immediately engage in this critically important economic priority and force the two sides to remain at the negotiating table until a deal is done.”

Import cargo volume at the nation’s major retail container ports were expected to rise 10.1 percent this month over the same period last year, even as west coast ports came closer to a possible shutdown, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker released by the NRF and Hackett Associates.

Despite nine months of ongoing talks, the lack of a contract between the Pacific Maritime Association and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, as well as other operational issues, has led to crisis-level congestion at the ports.

TIA Continues to Work with Officials to Alleviate West Coast Port Delays

Feb4.ILWUThe Toy Industry Association is continuing to work with industry stakeholders, port directors, and U.S. and international government officials on solutions to the ongoing congestion issues at the West Coast ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach, Tacoma, and Seattle. [Read more...]

LA Port Executive Director Meeting with Top Shipping Officials in Asia

Gene Seroka, the executive director of the Port of Los Angeles, is currently meeting with top shipping officials in Asia as labor negotiations at West Coast ports continue. Seroka is on-hand to discuss how partners can help ensure cargo reaches its destination; topics include how cargo is most efficiently stacked aboard outgoing ships.

In other updates, the Port of Los Angeles has pulled three chassis leasing companies together to create a chassis pool that will begin next February, and has offered up property adjacent to the terminals for near-dock facility use, such as cargo and chassis storage. The port is also having active discussions with rail companies to improve operations through cargo consolidation, and working with rail companies to speed up transportation of cargo.

The International Longshore Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) have been engaged in labor negotiations since last May, but have yet to reach an agreement on their contract, which expired in July. Both sides are expected to meet and continue negotiations next Monday.

Above-Average Retail Imports as Longshoremen’s Negotiations Continue

The import of retail merchandise remains above average as negotiations continue between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Association.

In a report released September 9 by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Hackett Associates, 1.47 million containers are expected to pass through U.S. ports covered by the Global Port Tracker report this month. September has averaged 1.42 million containers for the past five years.

Concerns grew among retailers as the West Coast longshoremen’s contract remained unsettled after its expiration on July 1, which prompted an early import of back-to-school and holiday goods in preparation for a potential disruption on the docks. August saw an all-time monthly record of 1.53 million containers because of these precautions. [Read more...]

Record Imports Expected as West Coast Port Talks Continue

nrfImport volume at major U.S. container ports is expected to hit an all-time record in August as retailers concerned about the lack of a West Coast longshoremen’s contract rush to bring holiday season merchandise into the country, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.

Import volume at U.S. ports covered by the Global Port Tracker report is expected to total 1.54 million containers this month, which is the highest monthly volume since NRF began tracking import volume in 2000. It tops a previous record of 1.53 million set in July, as well as unusually high numbers seen this spring as retailers began importing merchandise early in anticipation of this summer’s contract talks.

The contract between the Pacific Maritime Association and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union expired on July 1. Dockworkers remain on the job as both sides continue to negotiate a new agreement.

West Coast Ports Negotiations Resume as Cargo Shifts East

The shipping news journal Lloyd’s List reports that the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) have resumed contract negotiations following a three-day hiatus last week. In the meantime, retailers are bringing holiday merchandise into the country at record levels to protect against potential supply chain disruptions, according to the Global Port Tracker report from the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Hackett Associates.

Import volume at major U.S. container ports is expected to total 1.5 million containers this month, the highest monthly volume in at least five years. This follows a trend of unusually high import levels that began this spring as retailers worked to import merchandise ahead of potential problems.

The contract between the PMA and the ILWU expired on July 1. Dockworkers remain on the job as both sides continue to negotiate a new agreement. [Read more...]