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U.S. Ports Move On From Labor Dispute

(The Maritime Executive)

Import cargo volume at the U.S.’s major retail container ports is returning to normal levels as officials prepare to count votes on ratification of a new West Coast labor agreement, but industry is calling for more long-term development to secure port activity into the future.

The Pacific Maritime Association and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union tentatively agreed on a five-year contract in February. While ILWU leadership has recommended that members vote for ratification, votes won’t be counted until May 22. The lack of a contract and operational issues led to crisis-level congestion at West Coast ports after the previous agreement expired last July.

“Dockworkers and management made a massive push to clear the backlog of cargo over the past several weeks and West Coast ports are getting back to normal despite concerns such as the Teamster picketing seen in Los Angeles and Long Beach earlier this month,” National Retail Federation Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. Click here to read more.