A labor dispute between shipping employers and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union on the West Coast has recently shut down operations due to the two parties failing to reach a compromise. Ports were closed Feb. 12 and will be closed Feb. 14-16.
This has noticeably crippled U.S. shipping, particularly for Asian imports, Reuters reported. In fact, these ports handle 70 percent of imports from Asia. With most of the world’s rubber coming from Asia, the shutdowns will impact supply chains for rubber products, including disposable gloves.This labor dispute has affected 29 ports on the West Coast, and freighters are backed up in each of these locations. The unloading of these freighters, which are stocked with countless containers full of products ready for distribution, will be delayed until the union and shipping employers have reached an agreement. Currently, the tension between these two parties remains high.
The National Retail Federation has appealed to the White House to help end the dispute, as the issue is hurting many businesses and consumers, The New York Times reported. As this situation develops, distributors must remain aware that the disagreement will impact supply lines for products and materials from Asia, leading to unforeseen delays in deliveries.
The situation not only impacts importers, but exporters as well. Containers sitting at the port full of goods, destined for the United States, cannot be unloaded and refilled with goods destined for Asia. Even after the two parties have reached an agreement, it will take several months for shipping and port times to normalize.
AMMEX has bolstered its supplies in anticipation of a strike. However, the length of this situation is unpredictable and may affect our inventory down the road.
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