US: Deadline nears for West Coast trade disruption
As the deadline looms for a new labour contract to be agreed covering dockworkers at 30 West Coast ports, industry officials are warning of "significant" disruption to the US economy if a shutdown occurs.
The current contract for the 13,600 dockworkers expires on Monday (30 June), and the worry is that if talks break down, a protracted dispute could lead to reduced or shuttered terminal operations.
While it is possible that talks may extend past this date without a strike being called, industry groups fear a port closure would mean a delay in back-to-school and holiday shipments.
A new study, conducted for the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and the National Retail Federation (NRF) by economists at the Interindustry Forecasting Project at the University of Maryland, found the economic repercussions of a port closure would grow with time.
Under a 5-day stoppage the US economy could lose $1.9bn a day, while this would rise to $2.1bn and as much as $2.5bn a day if the stoppage runs to ten and 20 days respectively.
"Any supply chain disruption, whether it's a port slowdown or outright stoppage, would cripple international trade, stymie supply chains and hurt domestic employment and consumer spending," warns NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay.
"For retailers and their customers, a port closure would mean a delay in back-to-school and holiday shipments that could significantly drive up consumer prices."
The last major West Coast port disruption occurred in 2002, when management locked out dockworkers for ten days.
Separately, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has released general vessel, cargo and entry guidelines in preparation for the "major delays and diversions" at West Coast ports.
Click on the following link to read the document: Interim procedures for vessel and cargo entry processing for possible West Coast trade disruptions.
Help test our new apparel sourcing tool.
- China leads US apparel sources with falling prices
- Hard hit Turkish industry is not knocked out
- Vietnam grows share of US apparel imports in 2016
- "Power of the many" drives change at Otto Group
- US apparel sector braces for potential cost hikes
- US Q4 in brief – Kohl's, L Brands
- Bangladesh crackdown has cost garment sector $100m
- Adidas and Burberry recognised for sustainability
- Macy's will "do the right thing", says Lundgren
- VF Corp sees Q4 and FY earnings tumble
- When Things Go Wrong - A Practical Guide to Managing Common Problems in Apparel Sourcing
- Outdoor performance apparel 2016: A broader perspective
- Technical textile markets: product developments and innovations, December 2016
- Southeast Asia strategic sourcing review – a focus on Cambodia, Vietnam and Myanmar
- Global market review of lingerie – forecasts to 2022