The contract for 15,000 port workers in Washington, Oregon, and California will expire on July 1, 2022. Negotiations are scheduled to begin for the 29 ports on May 12, but sources say that anything is possible – from a contract getting signed with no disruption to a strike lasting month or anything in between.
The uncertainty is causing shippers to start diverting cargo away from the West Coast and that is reflected in the numbers. In January and February of 2022, the West Coast’s share of container imports from Asia fell to a historic low of 58.2%, down from 60% in 2021 and 77% in 2005. We’ll continue to monitor the situation and advise our customers accordingly.
1. Outcome of West Coast labor talks seen as a ‘coin toss’, Journal of Commerce, Mar 31, 2022. Accessed April 18, 2022.