Ongoing strikes and severe drought at the Panama Canal are causing significant disruptions in the container shipping market.
On Saturday, June 10th, the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA), representing port operators, issued a statement announcing the forced closure of the Port of Seattle as the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) refused to dispatch workers to the container terminals. This is just one of the recent series of strikes occurring at ports along the North American West Coast.
Since June 2nd, key dockworkers from California to Washington state along the US West Coast ports have either slowed down their work pace or failed to show up at cargo handling terminals.
Shipping officials at the busiest container ports in the United States, the Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach, reported that as of last Thursday, seven vessels were behind schedule at the ports. Unless dockworkers resume operations, it is expected that up to 28 ships scheduled to arrive next week will face delays.
In a statement issued last Friday afternoon, the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA), representing the interests of employers at West Coast ports, stated that representatives of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) refused to dispatch lashers, who secure cargo for trans-Pacific voyages, to prepare cargo for vessels arriving between June 2nd and June 7th. The statement read, “Without people doing this crucial work, vessels sit idle, unable to load and unload cargo, further stranding US export products at the docks without a clear path to their destinations.”
Additionally, the flow of drayage trucks has been impeded due to the port work stoppage, resulting in increased wait times for truck movement in and out of US West Coast ports.
A truck driver awaiting containers at the Fenix Marine Services terminal in Los Angeles shared photos from their truck, showing congestion on railways and highways as truck drivers anxiously wait to retrieve their containers.
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Post time: Jun-13-2023