The ongoing risk of a strike or work slowdown at West Coast ports may already be diverting cargo to other distribution methods and setting the stage for broader economic impacts, Fitch Ratings says. The International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) workers are currently working without a contract and could strike at any time. However, Fitch notes that recent negotiations between the ILWU and the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) are said to be amicable, and cargo has been moving through West Coast ports without incident since the expiration of the previous contract on June 30.
While a long-term strike is not likely, we believe some shippers may be diverting their cargo to avoid potential problems. Read more here.