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.

OOCL Hong Kong Achieves Guinness World Record

From Maritime Executive:

The OOCL Hong Kong has officially been recorded as the world’s biggest container ship at 21,413 TEU by Guinness World Records. The vessel was the first container ship in the world to exceed the 21,000 TEU mark.

This is a second record for OOCL, with OOCL Shenzhen claiming the title for largest container ship at 8,063 TEUs in April 2003.

On Friday, OOCL named the third in its line of six 21,413 TEU class container ships OOCL Japan at Samsung Heavy Industries. Like OOCL Hong Kong, OOCL Japan will serve the Asia-Europe trade lane on the LL1 service and her port rotation will be: Shanghai / Ningbo / Xiamen / Yantian / Singapore / via Suez Canal / Felixstowe / Rotterdam / Gdansk / Wilhelmshaven / Felixstowe / via Suez Canal / Singapore / Yantian / Shanghai in a 77-day round trip.

More at Maritime Executive


Prince Rupert container terminal to re-open following ‘incident’; 11 workers treated and released

From CBC News:

Canada’s second-largest container shipping terminal closed following what authorities at the Port of Prince Rupert described as an “incident” Sunday morning.

DP World, the company that owns the container terminal, said the incident took place at 5 a.m. PT. A spokesperson said 11 workers had to get medical treatment at the hospital with symptoms of respiratory and eye irritation. They have all since been released.

Little information was released about what happened.

“The workers are okay,” said Robert Ashton, president of the International Longshore Workers Union. Ashton said he didn’t know the nature of the incident, adding there is an investigation.

DP World said it suspended operations and evacuated the premises until it was able to complete air quality testing on site. It said an external industrial hygienist also conducted on-site assessments and the site was declared safe by 4:30 a.m. Monday.

More at CBC News


Maritime, dockworker unions criticize Liberty Marine’s labor switch

Note: Read the full Maritime Labor Alliance release about this jurisdictional violation here

From American Shipper:

A collective of ship and dockworkers unions are protesting a decision by Liberty Maritime to employ deck and engineering officers from another union to operate its newest U.S.-flag ship, rather than those members of its longtime union, the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association (MEBA).

For the past 30 years, Liberty has used MEBA to provide deck and engineering officers for its U.S.-flag vessels. However, the company in 2011 moved five U.S.-flag vessels to another union, notably the American Maritime Officers (AMO). On Dec. 2, 2015, an arbitrator issued a supplemental award for damages to MEBA based on Liberty’s alleged 2011 breach of contract related to five U.S.-flag vessels.

The Maritime Labor Alliance, consisting of MEBA, American Radio Association, Inland Boatmen’s Union, International Longshoremen’s Association, International Longshore and Warehouse Union and International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots, said in a statement Wednesday they “consider this shopping of labor unions while a legitimate and longstanding collective bargaining agreement is in effect an affront to all true labor unions.”

For more information:


Port of Vancouver USA admits it violated meetings law

From The Columbian:

The Port of Vancouver is taking the unusual step of asking for a ruling against itself in a lawsuit challenging its past interpretation of the Washington Open Public Meetings Act.

In a motion for summary judgment filed Wednesday in Clark County Superior Court, port attorneys wrote, “The Port acknowledges that Riverkeeper is entitled to a declaration that the Port of Vancouver USA violated the OPMA during at least one of the executive sessions held between March 2013 and July 2013.”

More at The Columbian


International Longshore and Warehouse Union donates $20,000 to help victims of Hurricane Harvey

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union, expressing sadness about the devastation and hope for rebuilding, has donated $20,000 to help the victims of Hurricane Harvey.

In a letter sent to the United Way Relief Fund on August 31, the union’s top elected officers wrote, “It is an absolute tragedy that so many families have been displaced and lost everything that is dear to them: their homes, their belongings, and their livelihood.”

Read more in the letter below:

International Longshore and Warehouse Union 20K contribution to hurricane Harvey victims in Texas August 2017

International Longshore and Warehouse Union sends $20,000 contribution to Hurricane Harvey victims in Texas, August 2017. Click image to enlarge.


Louis Dreyfus trader exodus leaves hole in grain business

From Bloomberg:

A group resignation of Louis Dreyfus Co.’s grain traders, which sparked a crisis forcing top executives to end a trip in Asia and fly back to Geneva, will leave a significant hole in one of its most important businesses.

While the company has quickly moved to replace former global head of grains, David Ohayon, it will take time to fill the positions in the lower ranks. At least five other traders in the business left on Tuesday, including the regional head of grains for Europe and the Black Sea, according to people familiar with the matter.

The departures were due partly to disagreements over trading strategy, said one person with direct knowledge. Dreyfus wants to focus on trading of its physical grain assets, rather than proprietary buying and selling of paper contracts, the person said.

More at Bloomberg


Sause Bros. announce Coos Bay expansion; says Port of Newport’s vote signals ‘closed for business’

“It’s a public port, but now a port of exclusivity to one industry … the fishing industry.”

Excerpts from The World:

Sause Bros. is expanding its business in Coos Bay.

Though this is good news for local economy, Sause Bros. is also motivated to expand its business in places like California and Washington state after the Port of Newport rejected a shipping deal for Silvan Bros. and Teevin Bros. contracts were denied.

Caitlin Sause, vice president of government and public affairs, expressed her opinion that the Port of Newport’s contract rejection wasn’t smart, because allowing the two companies in would have increased Newport’s economy. Not only that, but she said some of the employees those businesses would have brought in would have been based out of the Coos Bay area.

“This decision is going to greatly reduce revenue to the port and people using the port,” she said. “It’s a public port but now a port of exclusivity to one industry … the fishing industry.”

“It says to me that the port of Newport is saying it is closed for business unless you’re one industry they like,” she said.

More at The World


Sydney crane smash could have been fatal

MUA: Crane collapse in Sydney could have been fatal.

MUA: Crane collapse in Sydney could have been fatal.

From SBS in Australia:

A metal wire which snapped from a collapsed crane on Sydney Harbour could have killed someone when it flung across to land and hit Luna Park’s iconic face entrance, the Maritime Union of Australia says.

The 220-tonne purpose-built crane, which sits on a barge off Milsons Point, plummeted into the water after 1pm on Tuesday when its cable snapped.

The barge was ready to be relocated and four workers were attempting to remove enormous mooring blocks under the water when the wire snapped.

While nobody was injured, Maritime Union of Australia spokesman Paul Garrett said the outcome could have been far worse.

“It only has to go a couple of degrees either way and someone’s dead,” he told reporters at the scene.

CFMEU NSW secretary Brian Parker pointed the finger at SafeWork NSW – which has overall responsibility for workplace safety – and the state government for relying too much on self-regulation in the construction industry.

More at SBS


Tropical Storm Harvey breaks down shipping

Excerpts from Port Technology:

Catastrophic flooding from Tropical Storm Harvey is expected to cause huge amounts of disruption to shipping after persistent rain and strong winds battered the US state of Texas after making landfall on Friday night (Agust 25, 2017).

Seaports in Houston and Corpus Christi will take almost a week to recover after flood waters recede enough to allow dockworkers back into ports and trucks to resume normal routes.

Damage to highways and railroad tracks is likely to cause delays to the movement of freight from the ships scheduled to stop in Houston, now anchored in the Gulf of Mexico.

More at Port Technology


Ports handling 14% of nation’s cargo closed due to hurricane Harvey


ILWU International Executive Board: Together we must all fight racism, hatred and fear in our communities

International Longshore and Warehouse Union

International Executive Board

Vancouver, British Columbia

August 17 – 18, 2017


The events in Charlottesville call upon each of us to speak out boldly against white supremacy, neo-Nazism, and white nationalism in all forms. Racism, anti-Semitism, hatred and fear should have no place in America.

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) condemns hatred, bigotry, and violence against our friends and neighbors. We grieve for the lives lost and pray for those critically injured as a result of the domestic terrorism committed in Charlottesville. We pour out our hearts to everyone in the Charlottesville community, and to those around the country who are traumatized by witnessing such barbaric, racist acts.

When tearing down symbols of hate sparks such vitriolic backlash, the work to fully dismantle racism from our society is far from over. We recognize the progress achieved as communities finally remove the white supremacist monuments that stain our country. Our nation needs more healing, unifying, and transformation to live up to our values of respect equality, diversity, and freedom.

The ILWU is committed to advancing racial justice, as doing so is fundamental to working people uniting to create better workplaces and a more inclusive economy. Standing shoulder to shoulder together makes us stronger as a people and a nation.

This moment calls upon our entire membership to combat violent and exclusionary systems of white nationalism and white supremacy smoldering in our communities and institutions. It is more important now than ever before in our lifetimes.

We stand on the shoulders of men and women who fought this struggle. It is up to us to build the America that we and our future generations want and deserve. Together, along with our allies, let’s demand a future firmly rooted in love, equity, diversity, peace safety, opportunity, and human solidarity.

We urge every affiliate of the ILWU to put this resolution before their membership for adoption. We urge every member to get off the couch, and put our bodies on the line with like-minded citizens and neighbors in public denunciation of hate.

Heather Heyer PRESENTE



ILWU Local 10 united with 'Stop Fascist Terror' sign

ILWU Local 10 united with ‘Stop Fascist Terror’ sign. Photo by Kevin Stewart

Charlottesville: Unite Against White Supremacy

Heather Heyer PRESENTE


Russian tanker sails through Arctic without icebreaker for first time

From The Guardian:

A Russian tanker has travelled through the northern sea route in record speed and without an icebreaker escort for the first time, highlighting how climate change is opening up the high Arctic.

The $300m (£233m) Christophe de Margerie carried a cargo of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Hammerfest in Norway to Boryeong in South Korea in 19 days, about 30% quicker than the conventional southern shipping route through the Suez Canal.

Continue reading at The Guardian


ILWU International Executive Board releases Statement of Policy on Donald Trump

International Longshore and Warehouse Union

International Executive Board

Vancouver, British Columbia

August 17 – 18, 2017


President Trump’s reaction to the protests and violence in Charlottesville, Virginia is so unacceptable, so beyond the bounds of human decency, and so revealing that it calls into question his suitability to continue as President of the United States. There can never be an acceptable reason to defend white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and racists KKK members and sympathizers. What President Trump has done with respect to the Charlottesville protests is no different from those who defended the Nazis in the 1930’s, except that it is coming from the President of the United States.

During the election, candidate Trump referred to Mexican immigrants as rapists and criminals, mocked a disabled reporter, bragged about groping women, and otherwise put women down because of their appearance and weight. He has tried to ban Muslims from immigrating to the US because of their religious beliefs.

To those looking at Trump for alternative leadership, he managed to explain away these bigoted statements through carefully crafted press statements. This gave Trump supporters the political cover to continue their support of him. His statements following the protests and violence in Charlottesville have to cause his supporters to re-examine their views of Trump and explicitly renounce his views.

After nearly seven months in office, Trump has clearly demonstrated his lack of ability to carry out the duties of the President of the United States for the benefit of all Americans — black, brown, women, LGBT community, Jews, and Muslims. His behavior has reached the point that he is not suitable to continue as President of the United States.

Donald Trump

”President Trump’s reaction to the protests and violence in Charlottesville, Virginia is so unacceptable, so beyond the bounds of human decency, and so revealing that it calls into question his suitability to continue as President of the United States.” — ILWU International Executive Board, August 17-18, 2017


Despite expanded Canal, industrial booms around Los Angeles and other West Coast ports

Excerpts from UBI:

A year after the opening of the Panama Canal expansion, rents for industrial space around the Port of Los Angeles are at an all-time high and vacancy rates are hovering around 1 percent.

Cargo traffic to Los Angeles and other West Coast ports was expected to drop in the wake of the much-anticipated canal expansion, as Asian shippers diverted cargo through the canal to the East Coast. In fact, container shipments through Gulf Coast and East Coast ports have soared since the new locks opened in June 2016. But the drop-off in cargo to the West Coast has not materialized.

The volume of TEUs (containers) to the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach actually was up 5.2 percent in the first half of 2017, compared with a year earlier, according to a new report from Transwestern, the real estate advisory.

Los Angeles is not alone. Up and down the West Coast, prime industrial space around ports is in short supply. Vacancy rates for industrial space in Seattle-Tacoma, Oakland, and Vancouver remain below 5 percent, according to a recent report by JLL. In Long Beach, south of Los Angeles, only 1.8 percent of space is available.

More at UBI


Port of San Francisco looks for new tenant for shipyard

The Port of San Francisco is circulating a Request for Proposals seeking a partner to lease the shipyard at the port’s Pier 70.

The shipyard operated as BAE Ship Repair until January when it was taken over Tacoma, WA, based Puglia Engineering, only to close in May.

Now the port appears to have resolved a number of issues with BAE and Puglia and says the yard “is undergoing an unprecedented refresh of new investment.”

Read the rest here