US East Coast
port strike threat sees shippers making contingency plans
Retailers and other shippers in
the US are mulling contingency plans in the face of a brewing dockside labour
dispute which could shut down container terminals this autumn.
Building up inventories is one of
the most favoured options. Most speculation centres on re-routing cargo to the
West Coast, according to reports.
The current contract between the
International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) and companies that operate
marine terminals on the US east and Gulf coasts expires at the end of September.
The ILA opposes automated cargo
handling gear replacing its members. It also insists that the ILA continues to
maintain and repair chassis even as ocean carriers put the equipment in pools,
or turn it over to third-party managers. The union also demands that marine
companies do a better job of monitoring overweight containers for safety and
Another option being considered is to order
shipments earlier, especially for sales, seasonal and popular merchandise, and
store them in warehouses as insurance in case ocean transport is disrupted, said
Mr Ronald Marotta, Vice-President of Yusen Logistics (Americas).
Source : Exim
News Service - NEW YORK, June 21