There are labor issues on the east coast that may affect ocean-going cargo
East coast ports are under current ILA and USMX labor negotiations. The sides agreed to a 90 extension to work out their difference over the current master contract. The 90 day extension expires on December 29. At this point there is no agreement in place and the ILA membership has approved a strike if no agreement is reached. If a strike does happen; east coast ports will be shut down for the duration of the strike.
Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year is February 10. This national holiday means workers are home with families for five to seven days and factories are shut down. Importers try to ship as much as they can before the holiday. In years past this urgency to ship created backlogs at Chinese ports and elevated rates from the carriers.
Contingency plans could include…
- Routing USEC cargo to USWC ports now to avoid possible strike and USEC port shutdown
- Hoarding current inventory;
- Ship extra inventory now and hold on to as much inventory as possible to help weather the strike;
- Shipping as early as possible to avoid Chinese New Year congestion; or
- Using air cargo in lieu of sea.
Contact Cargo Services if you need to take action on a cargo contingency plan.