Monday, February 09, 2015

West Coast Port Slowdown Ongoing

by Bill McBride on 2/09/2015 03:20:00 PM

At least this is getting more media attention ...

From the LA Times: Ship unloading resumes at West Coast ports as labor talks continue

Employers and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union have been locked in bitter talks for a new West Coast dockworkers contract for nearly nine months -- a period that has seen debilitating congestion up and down the West Coast.
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The line of ships anchored off the Long Beach and Los Angeles coast waiting for berths grew over the weekend, from 28 Friday afternoon to 31 Sunday morning, according to the Marine Exchange of Southern California.
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The two sides are expected to meet again this afternoon.
From CNBC: West Coast ports: Retail's $7 billion problem
Retailers' anxiety levels are rising as gridlock grinds on with contract negotiations between West Coast dockworkers and port terminal operators.

It has been a long nine months for those dealing directly, or indirectly, with the lack of a West Coast port contract, and after a temporary shutdown over the weekend, retail lobby groups and consultants are assigning potential costs to the issue.

According to a Kurt Salmon analysis, congestion at West Coast ports could cost retailers as much as $7 billion this year. That congestion cost comes from a combination of the higher price of carrying goods and missed sales due to below optimal inventory levels.