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USA West Coast Ports Dispute Resolved

The protracted West Coast US Ports dispute has now been resolved, U.S. Labour Secretary Perez announced Friday night, after the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) reached an agreement on a new five-year contract.

U.S. Labour Secretary Thomas Perez announced that the parties had reached an agreement on a new five-year contract, saying that container ports up and down the West Coast will resume working but did not know how long it will take to work off the backlog in container traffic that has severely disrupted the movement of both import and export cargo.

The agreement comes after 10 months of negotiations, slowdowns and congestion at West Coast ports that have resulted in dozens of ships sitting at anchor or circling off shore. Details of the agreement have not been released.

If you are have any questions relating to your U.S shipments, please contact our Customer Service or Customs teams on 1300 651 888.

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Container Gridlock along America’s West Coast


Source: Monica Almeida, The New York Times

Cargo containers are banked up at Los Angeles and Long Beach Ports, and along the West Coast of the United States, due to a labour dispute between an association of the major shipowners of the West Coast and the union of longshoremen who unload those ships. The negotiations cover operations at 29 ports, including the largest in Southern California; Oakland in Northern California; and the Puget Sound. Collectively they bring in half the United States’ imported cargo.

The congestion is said to be the “worst-ever on record, according to one shipping analyst (Source: Jane Wells, CNBC)


Source: Tyler Durden,



Source: Tyler Durden,

The New York Times reports that “American retailers, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and agricultural exporters said they have already lost hundreds of millions of dollars because of mounting port congestion, with spare parts and consumer products from Asia not arriving on time and exports like oranges and apples left to rot.”

There is grave concern that failure to reach an agreement between the disputing parties will lead to devastating consequences for the US retail industry, and logistical nightmares for American exporters, manufacturers and retailers dependant on an efficient supply chain, of which the effects are already being felt.

Out of concern for the economic consequences of further delay, President Obama has taken action and requested, Thomas E.Perez, the secretary of labor, to travel to California to “meet with the parties to urge them to resolve their dispute quickly at the bargaining table,” according to a statement issued by Eric Schultz, a White House spokesman. Mr. Perez will try to mediate a settlement between the two parties. (Source: Erik Eckholm, The New York Times)

Pending a resolution, exporters and importers into Australia and New Zealand, should expect delays for goods going in and coming out of the West Coast.

For more information relating to the labour dispute:


For more information relating to your import or export shipments, please contact our Customer Service or Customs teams on 1300 651 888.

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Work Stoppages Announced at DP Worlds Around Australia

Please be advised that the ongoing Enterprise Agreement negotiations between DP World Australia and the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) have reached an advanced and difficult stage. As part of the industrial process the MUA have applied for protected action under Australian industrial law and as a result of the subsequent protected action ballets, the MUA has given DP World notice of planned industrial action as follows:


DP World Fisherman Island Terminal (Brisbane) – 24 hour stoppage commencing 0700hrs Wednesday 2nd November.

DP World Port Botany Terminal (Sydney) – 24 hour stoppage commencing 2330hrs Friday 4nd November.

DP World West Swanson (Melbourne) – 24 hour stoppage commencing 0630hrs Sunday 6th November.

All terminal operations including acceptance, delivery and vessel operations will cease during the stoppage periods.

News article can be found here.

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Australia Customs and Border Protection Workers Stage Work Stoppages

Australian Custom and Border Protection workers are planning to walk off the job today after the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) rejected a three percent pay rise from the Australian Federal Government.

International passengers outbound are being told to turn up early and to expect delays at Australia’s air and marine ports.

“If you have an international flight on Thursday you should go to the airport early and proceed to the customs and aviation security screening areas as quickly as possible,” Acting Deputy Chief Executive Officer for Customs and Border Protection, Jan Dorrington announced in a statement yesterday. Contingency plans have been made to minimise disruptions.

The customs marine unit will also be involved in the two hour industrial action today.

The concerned parties are going back to negotiations today to resolve the outstanding issues.





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