West Coast Ports to Shut Down for Next Four Days

Update 02/13/2014, 2:34 PST: Auto manufacturers Honda and Toyota are adjusting production due to the port strike. Starting Monday, will reduce production at plants. Honda will reduce production at its Ohio, Indiana and Ontario plants while Toyota will adjust overtime at some its plants and begin airlifting parts to meet consumer demand.

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Update 02/12/2014, 4:16 PM PST: Some air companies such as Hawaiian line Pacific Air Cargo will add a round-trip flight between Los Angeles and Honolulu on Sunday to help local customers dealing with the shutdown. 

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West Coast Ports in the U.S. will suspend all vessel loading and unloading beginning tomorrow through the end of the President’s Day Weekend, halting shipments in a network of ports that handle $1 trillion of goods annually. 

The announcement came after months of stalled negotiations between the International Longshore Workers Union, who demand better wages and benefits, and the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA), the group representing port employers. In recent weeks, the PMA has accused union workers of causing a deliberate work slowdown, while union members deny these claims.

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Just last weekend, a similar partial port shutdown caused the number of ships anchored waiting to enter the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to increase from 20 to 31. According to a port spokesman, by comparison, last year there were no stalled ships.

Retailers in particular will be the most affected as backed up cargo ships carrying furniture, clothing, shoes, and other items won’t reach shelves on time. Many retailers are citing delays of up to one month. The Port of Los Angeles and Port of Long Beach handle 40% of annual U.S. imports.  

To stay on top of future updates, be sure to subscribe to email updates at the bottom of this page. For advice on how to safeguard your supply chain from the shipping slowdown, check our previous coverage of the topic.

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