Containership and cranes

Several trade journals, including the Journal of Commerce, are reporting that a tentative agreement has been reached in U.S. West Coast labor negotiations between the PMA (employers) and ILWU (union labor) over the contested issue of chassis maintenance and repair.

This is a significant step towards reaching agreement on contract negotiations that have been ongoing since last May. Union laborers have been working without a contract since July 1, 2014.

In recent months, each side has blamed the other for contributing to congestion issues at the West Coast ports.

With Chinese New Year fast approaching (after which a seasonal drop in volume is expected), and the Panama Canal expansion only a year away (which could siphon off market share in favor of East Coast ports), it seems both sides are now looking towards a speedy resolution.

The remaining issues to be resolved include wages, pension, and length of contract.

Rich Roche is Vice President, International Transportation for Mohawk Global Logistics. Click here to read more about Rich.