The articles excerpted on this site report on the state of the industry as seen by mainstream media, and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the officers of the ILWU Coast Longshore Division.

The One Percent Solution: How Corporations Are Remaking America One State at a Time

ILWU ally Gordon Lafer helped Local 142 win a collective bargaining agreement with Pacific Beach Hotel in a multi-year struggle. His latest book discusses the powerful forces against America’s workers:

In the aftermath of the 2010 Citizens United decision, it’s become commonplace to note that politics has become dominated by a small slice of the economic elite. But what exactly are those members of the elite doing with their newfound influence? The One Percent Solution provides, for the first time, an answer to this question. Gordon Lafer’s book is a comprehensive account of the legislation promoted by the nation’s biggest corporate lobbies across all fifty state legislatures, encompassing a wide range of labor and economic policies.

In an era of growing economic insecurity, it turns out that one of the prime forces making life harder for American workers is a relentless offensive by the best-funded and most powerful political forces in the country, corporate lobbies who have been empowered by the Supreme Court to influence legislation with an endless supply of cash. They have successfully championed hundreds of new laws that lower wages, eliminate paid sick leave, undo the right to sue over job discrimination, and cut essential public services.

Lafer shows how corporate strategies have been shaped by twenty-first-century conditions including globalization, economic decline, and the populism reflected in both the Trump and Sanders campaigns. Finally, Lafer shows how the corporate legislative agenda has come to endanger the scope of democracy itself.

Click here to find ‘The One Percent Solution’ at ILWU Local 5-represented Powells Books


Container shipping lines ordered to testify in U.S. sector probe

From Reuters:

The U.S. Justice Department has ordered top executives from several container shipping lines to testify in an antitrust investigation over practices by an industry that is the backbone of world trade, the companies said on Wednesday.

The world’s biggest container group, Denmark’s A.P. Moller-Maersk, together with second largest line MSC of Switzerland, Germany’s Hapag Lloyd, Taiwan-based Evergreen and Hong Kong-based Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL) said their executives were among those who had been subpoenaed.

The subpoenas were issued during a meeting of top container shipping executives last week in San Francisco. They are members of the International Council of Containership Operators, commonly known as the Box Club.

Previous inquiries by the U.S. Justice Department had looked into price fixing within the shipping industry, which has resulted indictments of various executives.

More at Reuters


1000th NeoPanamax Vessel passes through expanded Panama Canal

On Sunday, March 19, the containership Mediterranean Shipping Company’s MSC Anzu made the historic 1,000th transit through the Expanded Canal, heading northbound from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean.

The 1000th transit marks a significant milestone for the Expanded Canal, which is experiencing a steady flow of traffic – including containerships, liquid petroleum gas vessels, and liquefied natural gas (LNG) vessels. Other segments like dry bulk carriers, vehicle carriers, and crude product tankers have also transited through the Expanded Canal.

As of March 2017, the average number of NeoPanamax vessels transiting the new lane per day is 5.9.

Excerpted from a Panama Canal Authority news release


HMM consortium with 2M officially launches

Hyundai Merchant Marine officially signed a deal with the world’s largest shipping alliance, a move that is expected to grant the company more vessel capacity on its service routes and a way to improve its financial health, the company said Thursday.

HMM CEO Yoo Chang-keun and heads of the 2M alliance, Soren Skou of Danish Maersk Line and Diego Aponte of Switzerland-based Mediterranean Shipping Company, agreed to establish the so-called 2M+HMM strategic cooperation in California on Wednesday.

The partnership is due to take effect on April 1 and last three years with an option to extend the terms.

More at the Korea JoongAng Daily


Washington State Supreme Court sides with Port of Vancouver in oil terminal suit

Environmental groups Columbia Riverkeeper and Northwest Environmental Defense Center argued the Port of Vancouver commissioners violated state environmental laws when it agreed to lease land to Savage Cos. and Tesoro Corp., now collaborating as Vancouver Energy, without the project first undergoing the analysis for an environmental impact statement.

The court’s majority, also ruled that the conditions and authorizes in the port’s lease, combined with the governor’s ultimate authority over the project’s future, do not limit the port’s alternatives to the project.

Currently the project is under evaluation by the state Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council. In the coming months, that body is expected to make a recommendation to Gov. Jay Inslee, who will decide the terminal’s fate.

More at the Spokesman-Review


POLA and POLB see post Lunar New Year volume declines in February

From Logistics Management:

Total POLA February volume dropped 12.4 percent annually to 625,381 Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units (TEU), and POLB volumes decreased 11.2 annually percent to 498,311 TEU.

While the early timing of the Lunar New Year helped boost cargo volumes at the Port of Los Angeles (POLA) and Port of Long Beach (POLB) in January, it appears to have had the opposite effect for February volumes, according to data recently issued by both ports.

Read the rest at Logistics Management


ITF welcomes historic Spanish dockers’ win

The ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation) has hailed an amazing victory by Spanish dockers to defeat a controversial government plan to gut the rules that govern Spanish ports.

ITF president & chair of the dockers’ section Paddy Crumlin said: “This just shows the power of the dockers in Spain and I congratulate them for making the government back down. Anyone who cares about Spain, Spanish jobs and its international standing knows that this plan stinks to high heaven. But it took the steadfast opposition of the workers, with international solidarity behind them, to make the politicians stand up and defeat this measure.”

ITF maritime coordinator Jacqueline Smith added: “It’s clear that this is not the end of the attacks to conditions, so while the ITF congratulates the Spanish Dockworkers on their victory and thanks the hundreds of affiliates around the world who provided strong solidarity, we know we must prepare for the next round if attacks in Spain in the coming months..”

ETF political secretary for dockers and fisheries Livia Spera concluded: “The battle of the Spanish dockers is a battle for all workers in Europe. If the government had been allowed to get away with this it would have been yet another aggressive and destructive neo-liberal economic plan. On behalf of all workers in Europe, we congratulate our affiliates and all the Spanish dockers on their victory. We are proud of them and of their tireless struggle for a fairer transport sector in Europe.”

More information at the ITF web site


Bad weather, Lunar New Year lull temper recent gains at Port of Oakland

Containerized export volume at the Port of Oakland declined 1.2 percent last month from February 2016 totals. The Port said it was only the second export decrease in the past 14 months.

Overall loaded container volume – imports and exports – declined 5.1 percent last month, according to figures released today. Import volume was off 9.3 percent.

The Port said inclement weather in the U.S. interior curtailed shipment of Asia-bound exports through Oakland. Import volume declined in the wake of Lunar New Year celebrations, the Port said. U.S. importers stock up before Asian factories shut down for the holidays. Shipments typically moderate in the post-holiday period.

Source: Port of Oakland news release


FMC aligns with Trump with new committee on ‘regulatory reform’

Federal Maritime Commission news release:

Acting Chairman of the Federal Maritime Commission Michael A. Khouri today designated the agency’s Managing Director, Karen V. Gregory, to serve as Regulatory Reform Officer.

Ms. Gregory will stand up a Regulatory Reform Task Force that will work to identify burdensome, unnecessary, and outdated directives and recommend how they should be remedied.

“Relief from regulatory requirements that have outlived their usefulness is one of the easiest contributions the Federal Maritime Commission can make to increased efficiencies and creating economic benefits,” said Acting Chairman Khouri. “The positive response from what the Commission ordered recently in terms of creating more realistic filing requirements for service contract amendments demonstrates the benefits that can be achieved from simply asking ‘is there a better way to do this?’”

The designation of a Regulatory Review Officer and establishing a Regulatory Reform Task Force is consistent with the intent of the Executive Order issued by President Donald J. Trump on February 24, 2017, the deregulatory spirit of the Shipping Act of 1984 as amended by the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 1998, and agency regulatory review initiatives ongoing since November 4, 2011.

The Federal Maritime Commission is responsible for regulating the Nation’s international ocean transportation for the benefit of exporters, importers, and the American consumer. The Commission’s mission is to foster a fair, efficient, and reliable international ocean transportation system while protecting the public from unfair and deceptive practices.


First Triple-E vessel visits Suez Canal terminal

The 18,300 TEU capacity Maren Maersk has become the second Triple-E class vessel to call an Egyptian port and the first with a commercial stop at the Suez Canal Container Terminal (SCCT) at Port Said East.

APM Terminals, the majority shareholder of SCCT, partnered with the Egyptian government and local authorities to complete a dredging project to increase the operational potential of terminal, which is expanding its annual container throughput capacity to 5.4 million TEUs.

In February, Mette’s sister ship Maren Maersk became the largest vessel ever to call a terminal in Egypt, when it arrived for a trial visit to the recently deepened APM Terminals global terminal network facility at the mouth of the Suez Canal on the Mediterranean Sea.

More at Port Technology


New alliances will have fewer direct port calls

Excerpts from the Journal of Commerce:

As carriers begin extricating themselves from their current vessel sharing agreements and reposition ships in preparation for the launch of the new Ocean Alliance and THE Alliance on April 1, an analysis of the new networks has revealed a surprising loss of direct port connections.

Now that the complete network details have finally been made available by the carriers, maritime analyst SeaIntel found that on Asia-Europe and the Trans-Pacific, a significant number of direct port-to-port combinations will be removed.

Source: Journal of Commerce


Panama Canal sets back-to-back-to-back tonnage records

Excerpts from gCaptain:

February is the third-consecutive record-breaking month for the Panama Canal. In December 2016 and January 2017, the waterway set monthly tonnage records after transiting 35.4 million PC/UMS and 36.1 million PC/UMS, respectively.

Approximately 850 Neopanamax vessels have transited the new locks in the first eight months since their inauguration in June 2016, according to the Panama Canal Authority. In fact 53 percent of all containerized cargo through the waterway is now transported through the new locks. Eleven new liner services have been also rerouted, with this number expected to increase.

Continue reading at gCaptain


THE Alliance sets up post-Hanjin insurance plan

On April 01 ‘THE Alliance’ of Hapag- Lloyd, ‘K’Line, MOL, NYK and Yang Ming, will launch 32 liner services to 75
major ports on trade lanes connecting Asia with the Indian Subcontinent, Middle East, Europe, North and Central America and the Caribbean.

And reminded of the sudden demise of Hanjin Shipping last August, they have established a contingency plan in the event one of them suffers a similar fate.

The five container lines have set up an independent trustee to manage funds in case one or more of the members become insolvent.

Read the rest at Freight Week


Bernie Sanders, Danny Glover: Union workers have it better

AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders stood with thousands at a pro-union rally near Nissan Motor Co.’s plant in Canton, Mississippi, congratulating workers for their courage “in standing up for justice.”

“It’s our job to tell corporate America that they cannot have it all,” Sanders told the crowd. “Start treating the working people of this country with respect and dignity!”

“If you are a member of a union in America, you are going to make 27 percent more than a non-union member. If you are a member of a union, you’re far more likely to have paid family and medical leave. If you are a member of a union, the likelihood is that you will have better health care and a better retirement plan than non-union members,” the former Democratic presidential candidate said.

Actor Danny Glover told the crowd that as Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, the best ”anti-poverty program he knew was a union.”

More at KRON 4


Port of Vancouver USA commissioners vote 2-1 to extend oil terminal lease

The Port of Vancouver will continue to lease land to Vancouver Energy for its proposed oil terminal after the agreement was the subject of a passionate and sometimes contentious meeting Tuesday. After five hours of testimony and deliberation, the vote was 2-1.

Commissioner Eric LaBrant was the sole supporter of his motion to cancel the port’s lease with Vancouver Energy. Commissioners Brian Wolfe and Jerry Oliver voted no.

More at the Columbian