Effect of the West Coast Port Gridlock

In: Business and Management

Submitted By navmartm
Words 1673
Pages 7
Erik H. Shirreffs
Professor Harris IHR 380
17 March 2015
Effect of West Coast Port Gridlock From May 12, 2014 until February 20, 2015, the Pacific Maritime Association was in negotiations with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union in an attempt to come to an agreement on a new contract, which will keep the west coast port facilities in operation. The Pacific Maritime Association represents 72 cargo carriers, terminal operators and stevedores that operate 29 major U.S. ports spanning the west coast from Washington to Southern California (Pacific). The International Longshore and Warehouse Union represents approximately 42,000 members, which includes the 20,000 West Coast dockworkers that process over 340 million tons of cargo per year. This cargo represents over 12.5 percent of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product. The contract in dispute between the Pacific Maritime Association and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union expired on July 1, 2014. Since that time, the port facilities had continued to operate without a contract, but as time passed, pressure from both sides increased in order to reach an agreement. The Pacific Maritime Association claimed that the International Longshore and Warehouse Union had been engaged in a work slow-down that had increased the congestion at west coast port facilities. Although other factors such as increased holiday shipping demands and a shortage of trucks and trailers contributed to the congestion, according to Steve Getzug, a spokesman for the Pacific Maritime Association, "This slowdown comes at a very bad time. The union didn't create congestion, but this action makes it much, much worse" (qtd. in Khouri). The congestion resulted in an excessive waiting period for ships to be brought into berth and unloaded. In fact, according to a February 23, 2015 article in the San Diego Union Tribune,…...

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