Update on ILWU Contract Negotiations and Strike Contingency Plans

On May 12th, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) began negotiating a new contract covering West Coast dockworkers as the current contract is due to expire on June 30th at midnight.  Details of the labor stoppage negotiations can be found in Shapiro’s Guide to ILWU Labor Negotiations, which provides a high-level overview of the current situation and alternate options in case negotiations don’t prove fruitful.

The best approach in this volatile environment is to stay informed and to proactively prepare.  A strike could have direct, significant financial impact as rates with all carriers may be subject to port congestion ILWU [Infographic]surcharges should work stoppages occur at USWC ports.  If necessary conditions arise, this fee may apply to all cargo destined to or shipping from any US port/rail via any US, Canadian, or Mexican port.  Effective dates may vary by carrier. This surcharge is filed in most carriers’ FMC tariffs to be used just in case port congestion occurs.

At this time, it is essential to review the contingency plans for your cargo, which may include temporary rerouting via the East Coast or via Canada or Mexico.  It is important to note that the New York/New Jersey ports are still recovering from this winter’s congestion; the East Coast, in general, will be heavily congested if a strike occurs.  Trucking and rail capacity from Mexico and Canada will also be slow and limited.

Shapiro has been proactively negotiating alternate shipping opportunities with our vast Shapiro GlobalFlex™ network to ensure continuous service for all of our international transportation customers.  Please contact your Shapiro representative if you have further questions or concerns about what a strike would mean for your company and how we can best prepare together.  If you are not currently a Shapiro international transportation customer and would like to talk to us, please contact us.

Related Content:

Shap Blog: Take Me Out to the Ball Game: How 3 Types of Freight Providers Perform During ILWU Labor Negotiations