Wednesday, 22 February 2017

USA container port workers plan to march on Washington

Further to our last blog on Logistics Simplified "Clouds Building On The Logistics Horizon", the notoriously militant International Longshoremen's Association, better known as the ILA are in the news again. They have already signaled their intention to fight port automation and strike another generous wage and benefits deal in the upcoming 2018 contract negotiations but are now in dispute with the Waterfront Commission of New York harbour and state port operators in the South East over "government interference" and plan a one day strike – not good!

ILA planning one day strike

This doesn't augur at all well for the ILA master contract negotiations which the ILA have said they would like to conclude before the expiry deadline of September 2018.

Things could start to get fractious and disruptive and if the drama surrounding the last contract negotiations in 2012/2013 is anything to go by, if you export to or import from the USA, you may wish to watch this situation very closely and have a contingency plan.

If you think it won't affect you because you use non-union ports (for example Chester,PA which is served by ICL) then think again, because US importers and exporters will look to alternative options should the union start to strike and threaten disruption.

And the same goes for air freight, as customers will divert ocean to air, so certainly one to watch - as they say forewarned in forearmed!

Just drop us a line of you need any guidance or would like to lean up your supply chain in general, especially in these times of a very strong USD (which has ramped up freight costs for air and ocean).

Andy Cliff is an industry professional who launched his own logistics consultancy, Straightforward Consultancy Ltd (SCL) after a 30 year career in international logistics, working for companies such as DB Schenker, Kuehne & Nagel and DHL Global Forwarding in operational, sales and management roles. 

Andy was part of the judging panel for the 2016 Global Freight Awards,
his second year in this prestigious role. The awards recognize quality, innovation and performance in the field of international logistics.

Andy felt that in an increasingly complex and confusing world of logistics, UK importers and exporters needed a company alongside them which could help them to reduce costs, lessen their workload and provide expert advice and support day-to-day.