Seems we finally have some positive news to report after months of disruption on the West Coast of the US - but it will take 2-3 months for ports like LA and Long Beach to get back to some sort of normality.
Below is an excerpt from a bulletin we've just received.
After 10 months of negotiations the International Longshore & Warehouse Association ILWU) and the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) finally reached an agreement on a new five-year contract. Although there appears to be lots of press about this matter there has not been any details released other than the new deal will include a new arbitration system.
But the important part is that the ILWU went back to work, full steam on Saturday, February 21, 2015. It is undetermined how long it will take to clear up the congestion that has been created from the slowdown. Although the agreement has been reached it still has to be ratified by its members, but all articles appear to indicate that ratification is expected.
It goes without saying that the slowdown and congestion has resulted in a significant economic impact that may be long lasting. It took third parties like the National Retail Federation and other organizations to pressure Congress and the White House to finally send Labor Secretary Thomas Perez, last week to break the stalemate, that the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Services (FMCS) was unable to resolve since the beginning of January.
Although the contract settlement is a positive note after months of slowdown, It remains to be seen how quickly things will clear up. Drayage companies have already experienced seasoned drivers leaving the workforce resulting in a shortage of drivers. Additionally, it is uncertain whether the equipment arrangements will improve or remain a sore point with truckers.
It appears that only time will tell. For interested readers, we expect that details of the contract to be revealed after it has been ratified. But one thing for sure, it is finally good to report that there is a light at the end of this tunnel.
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