ILWU ACTION SHUTS DOWN US WEST COAST GIANT CONTAINER PORTS
International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU), a labour union which primarily represents dock workers on the West Coast of the United States, Hawaii, and in British Columbia, Canada, has taken a concerted action to withhold labour at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, resulting in widespread worker shortages. Most of the jobs for the night shift on 7 April, went unfilled, including all jobs for cargo-handling equipment operators needed to load and unload cargo. The workers who did show up were released because there was not a full complement of ILWU members to operate the terminals’ Local 13 withheld labour again for the morning shift. The action by the Union has effectively shut down the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Additionally, the Union’s coordinated actions are occurring while negotiations for a new coastwise contract continue. Moreover, this latest work action comes three weeks after ILWU Local 13 in Southern California stopped complying with a contract provision providing employers the right to assign staggered shifts during meal periods. The health of Southern California and the state economy depend on the ability of the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to stem this market share erosion, according to Pacific Maritime Association’s statement.
PORTS OF LOS ANGELES AND GOTHENBURG STRENGTHEN TIES WITH NEW AGREEMENT
Representatives from the port of Gothenburg and the port of Los Angeles signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to enhance their relationship and cooperation on several important topics, such as sustainability, digital and physical infrastructure, and potential trade opportunities. The agreement was signed at a ceremony at the Port of Los Angeles in the United States. Specifically, the agreement focusses on best practice sharing, consultation and exchanging of ideas on issues deemed critical to both ports. These include supply chain efficiency and digital technology, and the sharing of lessons learned from the Port Optimizer™, the data portal developed by the port of Los Angeles and in use at the Swedish port of Gothenburg since 2021.
US FREIGHT RECESSION IMPACT ON TRANSPACIFIC AND TRANSATLANTIC CONTAINER TRADE
The post-pandemic trade slowdown in the United States is impacting household goods demand far more seriously than industrial freight demand, why since the second half of the last year, the Transpacific container trade has seen freight rates and demand drop far more significantly than the Transatlantic. Additionally, domestic trucking and air cargo markets have shown downward trends. demand for imported non industrial products typically shipped by container or via air freight solutions such as clothing, computers, phones and furniture had significantly fallen away.
NWSA LAUNCHES RAIL CARGO INCENTIVE PROGRAM
The Northwest Seaport Alliance (NWSA), a partnership of the ports of Seattle and Tacoma in the United States, launched its 2023 Rail Cargo Incentive Program aiming to drive growth and cost effective operations in the Pacific Northwest region. The program is expected to increase cargo volumes in the gateway while reducing costs to importers and exporters that utilise the NWSA gateway and their rail partners, according to NWSA. In fact, around half of the import cargo that moves through the NWSA gateway is bound for destinations outside of the Puget Sound region, primarily the Midwest Additionally, the 2023 Rail Cargo Incentive Program will provide a US$50 incentive per rail move for eligible rail volumes moving through the gateway beginning on 1 May 2023. The program is expected to generate approximately 60,000 additional rail lifts, equivalent to roughly 15% of NWSA international intermodal lifts in 2022.The initial investment will total US$3 million in incentive funding, with the option of extending the program beyond April 2024.