Shippers Concerned Over Labor Tactics After Strike Closes East Coast Ports

Oct 11, 2010, 16:12 ET from The Journal of Commerce

NEWARK, N.J., Oct. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- U.S. importers are concerned a two-day strike at the East Coast's largest ocean freight terminals is a harbinger of growing militancy following 30 years of labor peace along the region's docks.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20101011/NY80047 )

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20101011/NY80047 )

The Sept 28-29 shutdown of the Port of New York-New Jersey by the International Longshoremen's Association halted an estimated 10,000 to 11,000 truck moves and caught the attention of the nation's largest retailers at the busiest time of their year.

In the past, historically problematic West Coast labor relations pushed many shippers to diversify supply chains, bringing more goods east, but ILA changes and an increase in labor unrest threaten to upset their systems once again. "We are definitely monitoring [labor relations] more closely now so that we will have options in case of a shutdown," said Goya Foods' Matthew Montour. "Over the past years it hasn't even been an issue, so we haven't had to consider an option."

Many believe the shutdown is a sign of changes to come this summer when the ILA holds its quadrennial convention and potentially elects a new president who is regarded as more confrontational. This is expected to coincide with the start of the union's negotiations of a new East and Gulf Coast contract for 2012.

If the recent unrest proves symptomatic of a deeper trend, shippers may be forced to reconsider their bicoastal strategies and overall global supply chain planning. In this week's Cover Story, The Journal of Commerce examines the growing concerns of shippers, carriers and port operators in the face of a changing ILA.

To view daily news visit www.joc.com. For all media enquires, including article reprints, please contact Editorial Director Paul Page.

Since 1827, The Journal of Commerce has been the most trusted source of intelligence for international logistics executives to help them plan global supply chains and better manage day-to-day transportation of goods and commodities in the United States and internationally.

To become a member of The Journal of Commerce click here. JOC members have access to our weekly print and digital magazine and Web site, as well as a 10% discount on all JOC events and trade shows, UBM Global Trade Directories and select PIERS products. Authoritative editorial content in the form of daily news, weekly analysis and regular features ensure our members have the information and data necessary to understand the issues facing trucking, rail and maritime transportation. Members enjoy access to "By the Numbers," an exclusive weekly compilation of key industry statistics that provides detailed views of current market trends across all modes. Regular market intelligence reports -- utilizing PIERS trade data -- include Top 100 Imports and Exporters, quarterly Top 40 Container lines, Trans-Pacific and Trans-Atlantic Maritime Forecasts and Top Container Ports and Terminals. Market-sector supplements, including Breakbulk, Cool Cargoes, 3PL, JOC Guide to Trucking and others, ensure all modes are comprehensively covered.  

About UBM Global Trade - UBM Global Trade is the leading provider of proprietary data, news, business intelligence and analytical content supporting commercial maritime, rail, trucking, warehousing and logistics industries worldwide. The company's portfolio of more than 100 online, print and interactive workflow business solutions includes The Journal of Commerce, Breakbulk, RailResource, PIERS Global Intelligence Solutions and an array of international trade and transportation databases and directories. UBM Global Trade, a subsidiary of United Business Media Limited, is headquartered in Newark, NJ, with offices throughout the United States. For more information, explore www.ubmglobaltrade.com or call 800-223-0243 (+1-973-848-7250 outside the U.S. or Canada).

SOURCE The Journal of Commerce



RELATED LINKS

http://www.joc.com