It’s National Transportation Week! Reach out and thank a logistics professional today and help spread greater awareness and appreciation of the transportation industry! Transportation Week focuses on the importance of critical infrastructure investments such as bridge repair and channel dredging. Look out for mega-container ships in 2015 after the Panama Canal expansion project is complete!
The average consumer knows very little of what is required to get product into the country and to market, likely unaware that the entire industry is sitting on pins and needles waiting for the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) and International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) to renew a West Coast labor contract soon. Talks between PMA and ILWU began Monday, May 12, in San Francisco. Although PMA Chief Executive James McKenna says he does not expect negotiations to be finalized by the June 30 deadline, both groups plan to meet daily until a new contract is signed. 14 primary steamship lines have filed tentative plans for congestion surcharges with the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC). These surcharges, some of which are over $1000 per container, would be applicable in the event a slowdown or strike occur. No one knows whether negotiations will go smoothly or result in disruptions, but some anxious shippers have already initiated contingency plans.