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Peak Season Craziness, West Coast Port Disruptions Add to Concerns over Airfreight Capacity Shortfal

(Mark B. Solomon – DC Velocity)

Airfreight users, who had been dealing most of the year with a tightening market for capacity, are now also coping with what could be a late-peak season crush for airfreight services as disruptions at West Coast ports are pushing some businesses to shift their goods from ocean to air.

Tensions between the International Longshoremen & Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) over negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement have been increasing over the past few weeks, and according to PMA, led to ILWU-orchestrated slowdowns at the ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach, Seattle, and Tacoma. On Tuesday, the slowdowns spread to the Port of Oakland, where dockworkers temporarily shut down a terminal operated by SSA Marine, a Seattle-based stevedoring, marine terminal operations, and intermodal management firm. Mike Zampa, a spokesman for the Port of Oakland, said late yesterday that workers have returned to their jobs and normal operations have resumed. Read more here.