This deal will end the past 13-months of negotiations paired with on-again off-again work actions. Huge sigh of relief for retailers and shippers. The West Coast port dysfunctions had a negative impact on the markets in the region and shippers were forced to reroute to East Coast and Gulf Coast ports. The West Coast’s share of US imports from Asia declined from 62% in January-May 2021 to 58.6% during the first five months of 2022 and 56% through the first five months of this year, according to PIERS, a sister product of the Journal of Commerce within S&P Global.
This all could have gone either way if it wasn't for the arrival of Acting US Secretary of Labour, Julie Su. The importance of this week was demonstrated by the arrival of Su in San Francisco on Monday following a week of labor actions that disrupted port operations up and down the West Coast. Su, after meeting with the ILWU and PMA on Monday, has stayed in the Bay area since, remaining on call as needed.
“...The tentative agreement delivers important stability for workers, for employers, and for our country’s supply chain,” Su said in a statement.
“The supply chain and economy will benefit greatly from this new contract, and the San Pedro Bay’s role as the most important gateway for trans-Pacific trade will be enhanced,” Mario Cordero, executive director of the Port of Long Beach, tweeted Wednesday night after the deal was announced.