As you may know, on June 30, 2014, the labor agreement between unions and port is due to expire. A representative from the Port of Long Beach spoke last month at the annual meeting of the National Industrial Transportation League (NITL). The representative offered sage advice to shippers, carriers, brokers and other stakeholders.
First, he said we should not expect an agreement by June 30. He said even if a good offer is on the table, the union will likely delay an agreement past the deadline, just to show its members value. Secondly, he stated that everyone (exporters and importers) should have a contingency plan, like another port. While he remained cautiously optimistic the port won’t close, we concur with his advice regarding contingency planning.