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USA Freight Shipping Volumes under strike threat

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A contract between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the employers representative group, the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA), expired on June 30. From 1 July, all freight passing through the ports responsible for around 35% of all US imports, will be at the whim of union workers.

The USA trade press is taking about a possible $2.5 billion a day as a ‘cost to the nation’s of a strike on the West Coast, but this assumes complete closure of all thirty West Coast ports by a major strike, something which hopefully will not occur. There have been some acrimonious disputes in the past but usually matters are resolved within a few weeks of the end of cessation of any agreement.