Disclaimer

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.

Congestion crisis' roots are much deeper, broader than labor issues

In an editorial called ”Powder keg at the ports,” the Journal of Commerce outlines the numerous factors of congestion at West Coast and global ports. Excerpts:

For some, one-time factors such as the Manila truck restrictions and West Coast longshore negotiations can be dismissed as events that create short-term disruption, but, in fact, those two [...]

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‘Progress has been made’ as West Coast port negotiations continue

Excerpts from ”New talks Tuesday will try to resolve West Coast port terminals dispute” by KIRO Radio in Seattle:

After weeks of lost productivity, backlogs and finger-pointing, contract talks resume Tuesday between west coast terminal operators and union Longshore members in Seattle and elsewhere, who are working without a contract.

“It’s a much more [...]

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Ambre sells interests in N.W. coal projects

Coal prices spiked in 2011, driven by massive demand from China. But as China invested billions to move domestic coal around the country more efficiently, coal prices began dropping and projects were abandoned.

Slumping coal markets have caught up with the Australian company proposing two export terminals in Oregon and Washington.

Ambre Energy is getting [...]

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US retailers worry West Coast port delays will hurt post-Black Friday restocking

From the Journal of Commerce:

Retailers hope West Coast port congestion won’t impact impact their holiday sales.

Major U.S. retailers don’t expect U.S. West Coast port congestion to hamper getting Black Friday products on the shelves, but they’re far less confident on their ability to keep stores stocked through the entire holiday season.

Home Depot [...]

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Rail car shortage blunts Puget Sound ports’ comeback bid

From Bloomberg:

In the U.S., shippers of grain, coal and other commodities have told regulators of poor service from BNSF, owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. The U.S. Surface Transportation Board in June ordered railroads to report plans for resolving the backlogs.

Seattle and Tacoma are being stymied in their push to [...]

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PMA deceptively blames workers for port congestion caused by chassis mismanagement and other supply chain failures

Chassis are piled up for scrap at Schnitzer Steel in Portland. Photo taken on November 10, 2014.

The ILWU is not responsible for the ongoing congestion crisis at West Coast ports

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Over the past week, the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA), which represents over 70 multinational ocean carriers and maritime companies [...]

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Dishonest media offensive by PMA jeopardizes contract negotiations and deflects from a growing congestion problem

SAN FRANCISCO, CA –On Monday, the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA), which represents over 70 multinational ocean carriers and maritime companies in contract negotiations with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU), began a media offensive against the ILWU. PMA’s media offensive is designed to smear the union and to deflect responsibility from a growing congestion [...]

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Container availability rising, ocean carriers say

A shortage of available rail cars has impeded westbound cargo shipments, including grain.

Westbound trans-Pacific carriers expect container availability to increase in the next three weeks at most key U.S. intermodal hubs, according to a weekly U.S. Department of Agriculture survey.

The latest data show expectations of increased container supply in most locations, except [...]

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Police risk protester’s life to end 9-hour oil train blockade

Authorities incrementally shorten the legs of the tripod used in the blockade. Protesters were critical of the tremendous mobilization of public resources to dismantle the blockade—there were approximately 40 combined fire, police, and medical personnel on site—saying it amounted to essentially another subsidy for the fossil fuel industry. Photo provided by Rising Tide.

From a [...]

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Oil train opponents blockade tracks at Port Westward, OR

From Rising Tide North America:

Oil train blocked near Port Westward, OR

Clatskanie, OR—Climate justice activists, local Clatskanie farmers, and oil train opponents from all over Columbia County are blockading the tracks [Update: Police Risk Protester’s Life to End 9-Hour Oil Train Blockade']that lead to Port Westward on the Columbia River. The blockade consists of [...]

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Farmers Union Opposing Trans-Pacific Partnership

Two hundred and fifty Farmers Union members from across the country are in the nation’s Capital this week telling Congress to vote against the Trans-Pacific Partnership. South Dakota Farmers Union President Doug Sombke is heading up the state’s 25 member delegation. He says the current TPP under discussion doesn’t address the current trade deficit that’s [...]

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New contract between BNSF, Tacoma Rail could boost Port of Tacoma

A new contract between the Pacific Northwest’s busiest railroad, BNSF, and Tacoma’s home-grown Tideflats shortline railroad, Tacoma Rail, could give the Port of Tacoma an additional competitive edge over rival ports.

Under the new contract, Tacoma Rail is refueling, doing minor maintenance and stocking the locomotives with supplies to allow them to get back on [...]

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US grain exporters welcome ILWU contract but rail delay concerns persist

Excerpts from the Journal of Commerce:

BNSF Railway and Canadian Pacific Railway say they are working to improve service as the 2014 harvest starts to move from farms to grain elevators. A backlog of shipments caused by a harsh 2013-2014 winter, coupled with an increase in intermodal and carload freight, has resulted in some [...]

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Columbian says oil terminal is wrong for Vancouver

From the Columbian:

The Port of Vancouver has agreed with Tesoro Corp. and Savage Companies — which now are pursuing their joint venture under the collective name of Vancouver Energy — to build an oil terminal that would transfer an average of 360,000 barrels of crude per day.

The proposal for an oil terminal [...]

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IANA: 2Q intermodal volume grows by largest margin in three years

Intermodal volume increased across all segments in the second quarter, contributing to the largest quarterly intermodal growth since 2011, according to the Intermodal Association of North America’s (IANA) most recent “Intermodal Market Trends & Statistics” report.

International container volume increased 9.6 percent, domestic container volume rose 7.6 percent and trailer volume grew 4.3 percent compared [...]

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