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Port Congestion Update USA | Update | January 2015

Posted on 12 February 2015
Port Congestion Update USA | Update | January 2015

UPDATE: 23rd February, 2015

After months at the negotiation table and assistance from the US government, the Pacific Maritime Association and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union have finally reached a tentative agreement on a new five year contract covering workers at all 29 West Coast ports.

Details of the agreement have not been released but both parties are happy with the outcome and the ports will resume to full operation immediately.

We have been told the backlog may take up to 6 months to clear, for this reason we are making the following changes to our South Bound services ex the West Coast:

  • All Midwest and East Coast origin LCL cargo destined to Australia and New Zealand will route via our US East Coast gateways direct to Sydney, Melbourne, Auckland and Brisbane
  • Fremantle will be routed on the all water service via Singapore
  • Christchurch cargo will be routed via Auckland
  • Adelaide will be routed via Melbourne 
  • Cargo originating from Dallas, Houston and New Orleans can be re-directed to the US East Coast upon request and subject to applicable inland arbitrary charges

If you have any further questions please contact your Account Manager or Customer Services Representative.

UPDATE: 12th February, 2015

Contract dispute between Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) and International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) may inevitably result in a port strike at West Coast ports in the US.

PMA has said it will suspended vessel operation from the 12th, 14th – 16th February. This may bring the already congested ports to gridlock.

We will continue to update this news article as new information comes to hand.

UPDATE: 9th February, 2015

We continue to see challenging conditions through various ports in the United States. The major delays are being experienced through the port of Los Angeles effecting all containers departing, arriving or being railed via this port.

LA Port closure near

The situation regarding the US West Coast ports has not improved despite the involvement of Federal Mediation. On February 4th, 2015 the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) submitted an "all in" offer to the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) which has not helped the two parties come to an agreement.

West Coast ports are at capacity and vessels remain offshore awaiting berth further intensifying the congestion issues. We will update this page with any new information as it comes to hand.

Can I route my cargo differently?

Other ports such as New York, Savannah and Houston are experiencing some backlogs and delays as many importers route cargo via the East Coast to avoid the congestion. Inland rail hubs such as Chicago and Cleveland are also experiencing some backlogs. Although at the moment these delays are far smaller than the ones from LA.

Our Account Management teams are equipped with the most up to date information for cargo in and out of these ports and will be able to offer the best tailored route for your shipments.

January 2015

The situation regarding the US West Coast ports has not improved despite the involvement of Federal Mediation.  According to several sources, the Federal Mediator has left the negotiation table due to the growing rift that exists between the two parties and  their unwillingness to compromise.  

There has been renewed talks about labour strike action or a lock out by Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) members.  The International Longshore & Warehouse Union (ILWU) apparently voted and have agreed to a strike plan if needed. The PMA voted for a lock out but only a  minority of its members voted in favour.  The carriers don’t think a lock out would solve the issue for the long term. 

Oceania Freight Services via Oakland will temporarily be moved and held in Vancouver until the situation approves. We are looking into alternate routings for Australia and New Zealand freight. 

There appears to be no real sign of an agreement being reached between the two parties in the near further intensifying the congestion issues. We will pass on any new information as it comes to hand.

If you have any further questions please contact your Account Manager or Customer Service Representative

Long Beach Port Congestion