Over the past week X2 Logistics Networks has been publishing news about the dockworkersâ€™ slowdown that has caused a bottleneck at some American west coast ports. Much of the timely information we have received has been courtesy of X2 Elite members American Worldwide Agencies (AWA) International Freight Transport (IFT).What the updates havenâ€™t included, is news that at this time of year Christmas trees are exported out of the United States throughout the world. However, the current slowdown has been beneficial to those in the US wanting a Christmas tree for their home. Why? Christmas trees are now cheaper due to the backup of shipments that have been due to leave the United States but have been held up due to the slowdown.
At the Port of Tacoma, productivity has dropped to about 40% of the same levels last year. As a result, at this one port alone perishable items are piling up container by container packed full of items. Unfortunately for some tree farmers, this drop in prices is coming when the industry was expected to be exiting a slump of oversupply that forced multiple companies to shut down.
For the ports along both the American and Canadian Pacific coasts, workers have been without a contract since July 1. In Seattle and Tacoma container movement has been slowed, crews walked out of Oakland in the middle of their shift, and cranes have not been operating in Los Angeles and Long Beach.
For tree growers, exporters of beef, and other agricultural products the port dockworker slowdown has become a thorny and urgent issue. Multiple associations have banded together and issued a written appeal to US President Barack Obama because of the economic impact they were facing and also express how their own businesses could be destroyed by this action, or rather, inaction by dockworkers. A tree grower in Washington currently has 2,214 trees sitting in a container that was due for export to Hong Kong 2 weeks ago. However, today that container hasnâ€™t moved and the owner fears that next year he will have lost his customer.
This has become an important issue for AWA and IFT. For any of our members outside of the USA, how have you been fairing with this slowdown? Perhaps some of our members throughout the Western Pacific are feeling the effects of the slowdown being done by dockworkers.
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