ILWU contract situation – update 04/30/2014

ILWU contract situation – update.

In an effort to keep you up-to-date regarding the ILWU contract situation, pleae note the current  events in the Transpacific Market.


  1. Booking & Capacity
  2. General Rate Increase
  3. Congestion Surchrges
  4. Labor Update


Booking and Capacity

Essential for everyone to book import shipments ,  least 2 weeks before ship date if this is possible!  The container ships are currently full and many are overbooked.

As you will read below in the west coast labor update, many importers are already diverting shipments from West Coast to other ports.  As a result of diverted shipments coupled with an increase in shipments,  ALL PORTS  are experiencing an increase in volume.  So it is important to:

A – Book shipments as early as possible.  Two weeks is  the minimum.

B – Provide forecasts of pending shipments volumes to your WWL representative if possible.  This helps our origin office plan booking with the ocean carriers.



The carriers have filed for a General Rate Increase for May 15th. This does not mean that the increase will be implemented in full and is dependent on how full the container ship are.

The Quantum GRI   $240/ 20    $300 / 40   $340 / HQ

Congestion Surcharge

The carriers have also forward filed for “Port Congestion Surcharges”.  In the event of a west coast strike , slow down or heavy volumes to contingency ports, the carriers have filed for a “Congestion Surcharge”.

The surcharges are in excess of $1000.  These surcharges can effect any of the ports servicing the United States. They have done this before but as yet have not instituted it to the trade. Just want you to know it’s out there.

West Coast Labor

As we informed you last month, negotiations for a new contract between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, and the Pacific Maritime Association – representing employers – will begin on May 12.

Speculation throughout the trade community is that an agreement will not be reached before the current contract expires on July 1, however, many believe negotiations will continue without a strike or lockout although work slowdowns are possible. Truthfully it is impossible to know what will occur but helpful to plan for slow downs or stoppages.

The key issues for the new contract include:

ILWU jurisdiction,

The Affordable Care Act tax impact in ILWU “Cadillac” health plans



Safety provisions,

Productivity and efficiency.

Planning ahead may help minimize the effects of any future slowdowns on your supply chain.

Some of the options for contingency plans, beside shipping to West Coast into the deadline, are :

1.) ship as early as possible to stock up on inventory,

2.) reroute IPI  cargo over Canadian ports or IPI and West Coast cargo to U.S. East coast ports.


We look forward to discussing this with you and please feel free to contact us regarding these issues.

Worldwide Logistics Ltd.




ILWU (LA Longshoreman Union) / PMA contract expires July 1 , 2014

Please take note that the contract between the ILWU (Los Angeles Longshoreman’s Union) and the PMA ( Pacific Maritime Association) which represents the ocean carriers, is set to expire July 1, 2014.

Issues in contention include ; healthcare; wages; pension language, jurisdiction, among others.

Discussions on a preliminary basis have begun, but won’t proceed in earnest until mid-April.

If they don’t come to an agreement, there is a good chance of at least a slowdown in the ports, if not stop-work actions , and maybe an LA / Long Beach dock strike for a period of time.

We are monitoring the situation very closely and will give you regular updates. But shippers are beginning to plan alternatives in dealing with the possible delays and interruption of service.

Alternatives include: Moving up deliveries of product from the origin factories and bolstering inventories; Book earlier than usual and allow more time for delays in the supply chain. Utilizing Vancouver for IPI (inland destined) cargo . But Vancouver / Prince Rupert ports will reach capacity quickly , so how what kind of alternative this will be as we get into early June is in question as the vessels / ports overload.

Utilize East Coast and Gulf ports for IPI / West Coast local cargo that normally move over LA and Long Beach Ports.

We will be reaching out to you shortly with further updates and as well to further exploring contingency strategies.

CN Obtains Injunction Against Striking Vancouver Truckers

CN Obtains Injunction Against Striking Vancouver Truckers

Canadian National Railway today obtained an injunction against striking union and non-union truck groups that will prevent their drivers from blocking access to the railroad’s intermodal terminal serving Port Metro Vancouver.

British Columbia Supreme Court Judge George Macintosh granted the injunction prohibiting United Truckers Association and Unifor-Vancouver Container Truckers Association from obstructing people or vehicles seeking access to the Surrey, British Columbia, terminal. Under the injuction, truck drivers and others can assemble outside the terminal. CN spokesman Jim Feeney said the order is essential for the railroad to serve its customers.

CN earlier this week told forest product shippers that the truck strike at the port was preventing its employees from taking all of their lumber and pulp carload shipments for transloading into containers. Following the issuance of an embargo on rails shipments for transload on March 9, the Class I railroad granted exemptions to some facilities that still have capacity and are moving freight.

The trucking groups are now mulling over a 14-point plan that the provincial government and port authorities hope will end the two-week strike. The proposed revision of the truck licensing system at Canada’s largest port would only take effect if union and non-union drivers end the strike.

JOC 03.17.2014


Vancouver Union Drayage Drivers Set to Strike


Vancouver Union Drayage Drivers Set to Strike

Mark Szakonyi, Senior Editor | Mar 08, 2014

Unionized truckers today rejected a tentative deal with Port Metro Vancouver, paving the way for a strike on March 10.

“Our members have spoken: the deal was too little, too late,” Paul Johal, president of Unifor-Vancouver Container Truckers’ Association, said in a statement.

The heightened truck labor volatility at the port could spur some shippers to shift less or none of their U.S.-bound cargo through the port in the coming months. Some shippers have been looking to shift some of their cargo though Vancouver and the port of Prince Rupert, as the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and employers engage in tough negotiations on a new labor contract. The U.S. arm of the ILWU is negotiating a contract to replace the current one, which expires June 30. Port Metro Vancouver said the “current disruption” affects roughly $885 million worth of cargo weekly.

Shippers had hoped that a strike would be averted after Vince Ready, a government-appointed mediator, on March 6 helped the port reach a tentative deal with union and non-union driver groups. Under the agreement, non-union port truck drivers could have been back at the terminals as soon as March 10.

Union truck drivers last weekend issued a 72-hour strike notice, and more than 1,000 non-union truck drivers went on strike Feb. 26, as frustration over long truck lines at marine terminals hit a boiling point. Unifor-VCTA says the long wait times cost drviers money and undercutting of rates has violated previous contract negotiations. The provincial government of British Columbia is tasked with enforcing rates, while “unions are responsible for resolving rate-undercutting allegations within their own membership,” said Port Metro Vancouver in a statement.

Of the drayage trucks tracked via GPS, 63 percent wait less than one hour at port terminals, according to Port Metro Vancouver. The data also found that less than 5 percent of tracked drivers wait more than two hours at terminals. Aside from collecting more data via GPS tracking on drayage trucks, the port, along with industry associations and terminal operators, has looked at increasing regular off-hour gates for weekend and evening traffic.

But that work doesn’t appear to be enough for the union.

“We’ve warned the government for years how bad the conditions are,” said Gavin McGarrigle, Unifor’s British Columbia area director, in a statement. “We welcome the involvement of Vince Ready, but the feedback I’ve gotten is that our members need to see something far more immediate to improve their economic position.”


North America Rail Operations

DOWNLOAD/VIEW PDFPMV Media Statement Feb 27

North America Rail Operations:  Expect Rail Transit Delays / Another Winter Storm Approaching US Midwest

After a brief break from the harsh winter weather, another winter storm is expected in the US Midwest and Northeast later this week and through the weekend.  Low temperatures and heavy snowfall are expected.  North American rail carriers continue to deploy additional crews, locomotives and railcars to support their rail networks.  Customers should continue to expect rail transit delays for the next ten days.  A full recovery of “normal” rail operations will take time as the weather slowly improves.

BNSF has implemented Winter Action Plans reducing train lengths and restricting train speeds to combat below zero temperatures, heavy snowfall in the PNW-Midwest corridor and high winds in Southern California (excess of 50 mph).  Low temperatures in the Chicago-area are expected to delay rail interchange operations between BNSF and NSRR/CSX.

Vancouver Truck Driver Disruption

The best information we have on the Vancouver trucker disruption is attached.  Please see the press release from Port Metro Vancouver.  The driver disruption may cause additional congestion at Deltaport, but the impact will be more on delaying local cargo pick-up and delivery by truck than rail operations.

CN evacuated two import intermodal trains yesterday (960 TEU); is projected to evacuate 1,530 TEU (3 trains) today; and another 1,530 TEU (3 trains) Friday.  CN has adequate cars on hand and enroute to evacuate the current on-ground backlog.

Pacific Southwest

Southern California on-dock and off-dock rail operations continue to be congested due to high import rail volume and shortages of locomotive power.  BNSF currently has eight import intermodal trains loaded and waiting for locomotive power.  Transit delays are expected to be up to 48 hours.

Pacific Northwest

The Tacoma/Seattle – Midwest corridor continues to be challenging for BNSF due to winter weather delays.  This traffic lane remains out of balance, with rail transit delays up to 48 hours.  BNSF has four import intermodal trains holding on this route due to locomotive power and crew shortages. 


Midwest USA 
Rail shipments are expected to incur 24 hour transit delays for the next several days as Midwest rail terminals, including Logistics Park Chicago (LPC), Memphis and Houston remain congested.  Truck power continues to be very tight especially in Chicago, Detroit, Kansas City, Minneapolis and the Ohio Valley area, slowing the pick-up of arriving import shipments.  Rail interchange operations are expected to be delayed.

CN Harvey, IL Rail Terminal

The CN Harvey in-gate situation continues to be dynamic, changing frequently throughout the week and even throughout the day.  Early Wednesday morning (0900), several motor carriers reported turn times of less than 40 minutes, the yard was clear, no congestion; however, by 2:30 pm, turn times had increased and there were delays at the out-gate.  Please encourage drayman to in-gate during non-peak days (weekends) and non-peak times (before 0900 / after 1800).

OOCL (U.S.A.) Inc.

PMV Media Statement Feb 27.pdf