- The International Longshore and Warehouse Union voted overwhelmingly to ratify a six-year contract with the Pacific Maritime Association.
- U.S. President Joe Biden had positive words to say about the agreement.
- Companies who are collectively known as the FIT Alliance signed the “declaration of the electronic Bill of Lading” earlier this month.
- More than 100 shipping and transportation community institutions and players said that a proposed emissions rule could cause issues.
- Trans-Atlantic westbound rates are still falling.
ILWU Votes To Ratify Contract
At the vote, 75% of the union members voted in favor of the contract.
The contract went through after 13 months of heated negotiations.
“The negotiations for this contract were protracted and challenging,” ILWU International President Willie Adams said in a statement. “I am grateful to our rank and file for their strength, to our Negotiating Committee for their vision and tenacity, and to those that supported giving the ILWU and PMA the space that we needed to get to this result.”
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President Biden Calls West Coast Union Contract ‘Good Deal’
The contract includes a 32% percent pay increase over the course of the contract.
“It’s a good deal for workers, it’s a good deal for companies, and it’s a good deal for the United States of America,” Biden said.
Biden said that the contract should have a positive effect on inflation and that fixing supply chain issues is a top priority for the administration.
“Plus, this has a direct impact on reducing inflation,” Biden continued. “When the cost of moving goods through the supply chains goes up, inflation goes up. Strengthening supply chains … inflation goes down. That’s why we’ve made fixing our supply chains to bring down inflation a top priority. And it’s working.”
Supply Chain Alliance Commits To Digitalization Of International Trade
Members of the FIT Alliance are BIMCO, the Digital Container Shipping Association, the International Federation of Freight Forwarders Association, the International Chamber of Commerce and the international payment network Swift.
The bill of lading serves as the receipt for shipped goods, the document of title and the agreed-upon terms and conditions.
Experts believe this will make international trade more effective and secure.
Los Angeles and Long Beach Ports Combat Pending Emissions Rule
In a letter to the mayors of Los Angeles and Long Beach, the coalition said the proposed Indirect Source Rule could have unintended consequences.
“The initial SCAQMD staff proposal essentially establishes volume caps on port activities, which will restrict the delivery of critical imported goods including essential construction, manufacturing and automobile components, as well as medical supplies, and halt the export of California’s manufactured goods and agricultural products to foreign markets,” the coalition wrote in the letter.
But, according to reporting in the Journal of Commerce, the AQMD called the trade community “irresponsible” for “grossly inaccurate rhetoric” about an
Trans-Atlantic Westbound Rates Continue To Fall
As of Sept. 5, the spot rate for that same route was $638 per FEU, according to reporting by the Journal of Commerce.
“Rates have definitely collapsed,” Hapag-Lloyd CEO Rolf Habben Jansen told reporters during a press briefing earlier this month. “It means we need to start looking at our costs and what we can do to take cost out.”
Experts say excess capacity and weak U.S. import demand are driving the low rates.