Shippers look for US west coast alternatives

Shippers look for US west coast alternatives

San Francisco: The labour-management disputes that racked west coast ports in recent months could leave a permanent mark as shippers who found alternatives may never come back, the Wall Street Journal wrote on Friday.

By the time the labour contract issue was resolved on February 20 many shippers were already changing trading routes to ports on the east coast, the Gulf coast, western Mexico and Canada, the paper wrote.

The trend of ships heading elsewhere had reportedly accelerated in recent months, with imports at the port falling 28 percent year-over-year in January. More business is likely to be lost with the Panama Canal expansion.

“About a third of our cargo is purely discretionary,” said Gene Seroka, executive director of the Port of Los Angeles. “Some of that cargo has moved to other port complexes. It’s going to be extremely difficult to earn that business back.”

Donal Scully

With 28 years experience writing and editing for newspapers in the UK and Hong Kong, Donal is now based in California from where he covers the Americas for Splash as well as ensuring the site is loaded through the Western Hemisphere timezone.

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