Port News

The third-ranking Senate Republican on Tuesday floated the idea of putting unionized port employees under the purview of the Railway Labor Act, a move proponents say would prevent longshore labor showdowns like those seen seen on the U.S West Coast in recent months.

The proposed 750 percent rent increase for DP World’s Melbourne terminal is a “blatant money grab” by the state government, said Shipping Australia chief executive officer Rod Nairn.

The Panama Canal Pilots Union, which is in negotiations for a new five-year contract, said it was encouraged by statements made by Panama Canal Authority CEO Jorge Quijano at the 15th annual TPM Conference here Tuesday.

Shippers who tried to divert their containerized cargo to the U.S. East Coast during the paralyzing port congestion at West Coast ports in the last few months were not always successful because they did not have long-standing relations with carriers serving the East Coast, according to panelists at the 15th annual TPM Conference.

Panama Canal Authority CEO Jorge L. Quijano said that it’s possible for Nicaragua and its Hong Kong backer to build a rival canal in five years, but it’s not a “feasible investment from a private investment standpoint.”

The container logjam at the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles will be cleared within three months, the top officials of both ports said today at the 15th annual TPM Conference in Long Beach. But that’s only the beginning of the herculean rebuilding task the Southern California ports face.

Gridlock-Big Ships panel at TPM Conference
Don’t blame ocean carriers and bigger container ships for congestion at key ports; blame insufficient investment in equipment, dredging and automation at U.S. marine terminals, speakers said at the 15th annual TPM Conference in Long Beach.

Mario Moreno
U.S. containerized imports in 2015 will increase a paltry 1.7 percent, dragged down by West Coast port congestion, JOC Economist Mario Moreno told the 15th annual TPM Conference in Long Beach on Monday.

Matthew Shay, president of the National Retail Federation, on Monday called on Congress and the Obama administration to change how unionized port labor and waterfront employers negotiate agreements so “the interest of thousands” can no longer threaten the livelihood of millions

The U.S. faces many challenging port issues but chief among them is a system of labor-management relations that fails to consider the interests of the ultimate customers, the chairman of Kuehne + Nagel told TPM 2015 in Long Beach on Monday.