(Angelo Young – IBTimes)
For months, representatives of about 20,000 members of the International Longshoremen’s Association and their employers have been negotiating a six-year labor contract. The lack of success in the talks, now more than three months old, is raising concerns about a possible strike or slowdown ahead of the economically important U.S. holiday shopping season. Those concerns, in turn, are driving an increasing number of shippers to seek alternatives to U.S. West Coast ports.
But regardless of the alternative routes available in Canada, Mexico or through the Panama or Suez canals to the Eastern seaboard, the West Coast is the best current option for a great deal of U.S.-bound goods.
The fact is that Canada, for example, which has had double-digit growth in container traffic at its main West Coast ports since the U.S. labor talks began May 12, simply cannot process all the cargo bound for the U.S. West Coast. Mexico has one major Pacific port, but faces a similar problem in delivering goods by rail to its northern neighbor. Read more here.