A potential strike by longshoremen from Maine to Texas threatens to disrupt retailers’ shipments before the busiest shopping time of the year.
The National Retail Federation Monday called on the International Longshoremen’s Association and U.S. Maritime Alliance to resume contract talks so retailers won’t be forced to divert cargo as they head into the holiday season.
The longshoremen’s contract is set to expire Sept. 30, but without an immediate resolution, retailers would be forced to make costly contingency plans within the next week to meet holiday promotion deadlines, according to the NRF. A strike or lockout would affect imports and exports at all East Coast and Gulf Coast ports.
Any cessation of work likely would result in cargo shipments being diverted to Halifax, Nova Scotia, and trucked down, while Asian shipments would be diverted to the West Coast and transported by truck or rail.