Saturday, February 21, 2015

Shippers pleased as port dispute likely to end

A major trade organization is pleased with the likely end to a crippling labor dispute at West Coast ports, which was announced last night.

From the U.S. Meat Export Federation:
"The U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) was very pleased to learn of the tentative agreement on a new West Coast port labor contract that was reached Friday evening. Since we began to see increasing congestion in the West Coast ports several months ago, the global customer base that the U.S. meat industry has spent decades building has been put at risk by shipping delays and by the uncertainty surrounding these contract negotiations. With nearly 80 percent or our waterborne red meat exports utilizing West Coast ports, this situation had become very damaging not only for exporters, but also for farmers, ranchers, processors and everyone in the supply chain. We are hopeful that the parties will ratify the new contract agreement as soon as possible and clear the backlog that currently exists in several major ports, so that U.S. industries can once again serve our international customers with the confidence and reliability they deserve."

-- Philip M. Seng, President and CEO U.S. Meat Export Federation
As I've reported, the work slowdown at the ports was causing no shortage of headaches for many California commodities, including north state-grown almonds and walnuts. Watch for our complete and ongoing coverage of the developments at CapitalPress.com.

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