The prolonged labor contract negotiations are causing severe disruption on West Coast port shipments. Sixty-one agricultural associations representing producers, processors, exporters and transportation and logistics providers wrote President Obama asking the administration to take every possible action to help resolve the contract negotiations. Because of the labor slow down at the ports, companies are experiencing long delays in shipments, lost sales and in some cases not able to move products.
The associations said in the letter, “The consequences are being felt throughout the country. The railroads are unable to bring agricultural products from the Midwest to Pacific Northwest ports because of the labor slowdown at the ports. At the same time, the ocean carriers are passing on their increased cost by imposing draconian congestion surcharge fees on the U.S. exporter, who cannot pass them on to the customer. It is rendering our agriculture and forest products non-competitive in the global marketplace.”