Labor Contract Ratified By ILWU
In a statement, the union said 75% of members voted in favor of the deal, which provides a 32% salary increase over the timeframe of the deal, and will also be paid retroactively from when the prior deal expired on July 1, 2022.
The deal also includes a one-time $70 million bonus that will be distributed to the members of the 20,000-person union for working during the COVID pandemic.
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Two U.S. Lawmakers Challenge Proposed Demurrage Billing Rules
The proposed rule would restrict MTOs from charging demurrage on weekends, holidays and other days when a port is closed.
The two congressmen argue that MTOs should be able to charge demurrage on those days, because it would force shippers to remove their containers before the weekends and holidays, helping increase the productivity of the ports.
“Marine terminals are not warehouses, and it is not unreasonable for an MTO to be compensated by a shipper that improperly uses the marine terminal as such,” Auchincloss and Babin wrote in a mid-August letter to the FMC.
They also say that overregulation could be counterproductive.
“The United States has just recovered from unprecedented supply chain congestion that caused great harm to our economy, and we cannot allow counterproductive government regulation to threaten the stability we have restored at American ports,” the letter also said.
However, shippers argue that the demurrage fees on off days are excessive and predatory.
Pilot Project To Open More Trucker Slots In Los Angeles and Long Beach
The general idea of the pilot is that by shortening the pickup timeframe, more slots will be created during heavily trafficked times, and truckers will spend less time waiting in line.
The ports are also looking at ways to restructure cancellation policies so that timeslots aren’t wasted when truckers book an appointment but don’t show up.
Southeast Ports Quickly Opened After Idalia
Ports in Jacksonville, Savannah, Brunswick, Colonels Island, Charleston and Dillon County, South Carolina were all open and operating in the morning or early afternoon on Aug. 31.
U.S. Shippers Should Plan Now For 2024 Disruptions, JOC Analyst Writes
Here’s an excerpt of Jensen’s perspective:
Jensen writes: “…US shippers in particular might want to look at their 2024 planning from a different perspective and bring contingency planning to the forefront. Of course, there is the usual uncertainty as to freight rates. Will 2024 rates be lower or higher? But at this juncture it would be prudent to place this question on pause and look at two other uncertainty factors: the Panama Canal and the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) contract expiry. The best-case scenario is that rainfall will be plentiful in Panama and that port workers and terminal operators along the US East and Gulf coasts come to an amicable and swift agreement. In that case, there is nothing to be concerned about. And this might indeed be the outcome. But it is an outcome that is by no means guaranteed, which is why contingency planning already needs to be considered.”
Jensen — who is CEO and Partner of Vespucci Maritime — also brought up the ILA contract, writing:
“Then we have the negotiations with the ILA. The contract expires in September 2024. Technically, the current contract includes a no-strike clause. But realistically, a standoff could lead to a number of other issues, including a work slowdown that effectively has the same effect as a strike. This has to be seen as a realistic scenario as well. A potential supply chain disruption along the East Coast in September 2024 would hit at the height of the peak season for cargo loaded in July in Asia.”