Executive Briefings

Ports on West Coast Could Remain Congested for Months

Congestion at the U.S. West Coast ports could take as much as two months to unwind, according to port and trade group officials, with retailers and other companies bracing for further shipment delays after the apparent resolution of a months-long labor dispute.

A tentative labor agreement involving 29 ports was announced late Feb. 20 involving 20,000 dockworkers. Tensions over their lack of a contract since July had led to chronic cargo backups. But port officials and companies warned it will take time to restore a normal flow of traffic.

"It's not going to be fast," Jon Slangerup, chief executive officer of the Port of Long Beach, said. "It's going to take us a couple of months to dig out, but we were at full strength on Saturday night … and we're going to stay at it until this backlog is cleared."

The port slowdown has rippled through the U.S. economy, including the retail, auto and agriculture sectors.

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A tentative labor agreement involving 29 ports was announced late Feb. 20 involving 20,000 dockworkers. Tensions over their lack of a contract since July had led to chronic cargo backups. But port officials and companies warned it will take time to restore a normal flow of traffic.

"It's not going to be fast," Jon Slangerup, chief executive officer of the Port of Long Beach, said. "It's going to take us a couple of months to dig out, but we were at full strength on Saturday night … and we're going to stay at it until this backlog is cleared."

The port slowdown has rippled through the U.S. economy, including the retail, auto and agriculture sectors.

Read Full Article