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Port of Oakland Updates Operating Status, Waterfront Labor Talk

(Port of Oakland)

The Port of Oakland has released the following update on seaport operations and the status of waterfront labor talks. The report addresses the significant cargo buildup that has slowed cargo movement on the U.S. West Coast. It also looks at prospects for a longshore labor contract settlement or the threat of a coast wide port shutdown.

The Port of Oakland, like other major West Coast container seaports, is facing a significant cargo buildup.  10-12 vessels a day await berths at its marine terminals.  Vessels are arriving late and off-schedule due to delays at previous stops in Southern California.  Ships wait days for berths.  Cargo movement inside terminals has slowed down.  Truck drivers sometimes wait hours to collect containerized imports for delivery.  Cargo can be delayed days in reaching final destination.

The impact is felt worldwide.  Global supply chains - especially between Asia and the U.S. - have been disrupted. Multinational companies are reporting lost revenue and increased costs because they can't get products from overseas sources to markets or manufacturing centers.  But the real impact is closer to home.  Small business owners are unable to get goods on the shelf in time for long-planned merchandising programs.  Some are paying high premiums for work-arounds such as airfreight.  Manufacturers are at risk of closing down assembly lines because they don't receive parts shipments.  California's Central Valley growers can't get perishable agricultural exports through the marine terminals quickly and onto ships for delivery to overseas markets.  Thousands of independent harbor truckers are doing less business - and receiving less pay - because they're often stranded in long lines awaiting cargo.  Businesses are beginning to furlough workers because their operations are stymied by cargo delays. Click here to read more.