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Port Congestion Could Spread up the US West Coast as New War of Words Erupts

(Gavin van Marle – The Loadstar)

The growing problem of port congestion on the US west coast appears to be on the verge of spreading north to Tacoma and Seattle, sparking a new war of words between terminal operators and dockers’ unions.

The Pacific Maritime Association (PMA), which represents employers at the west coast container terminals, yesterday accused the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) of initiating a go-slow at the Puget Sound ports of Tacoma and Seattle.

It claimed that on Friday, ILWU representatives had been sent to certain Tacoma terminals and issued slow-down orders, which spread to other terminals in the two ports over the weekend. The PMA claimed productivity across the two ports had declined “by an average of 40-60%. For example, terminals that typically move 25-35 containers per hour were moving only 10-18”. Read more here.