Following the halt of vessel loading and unloading over President's Day weekend, the Obama Administration dispatched Labor Secretary, Thomas Perez, to San Francisco earlier this week to join the labor contract negotiations. It has been reported that Perez has given the ILWU and PMA until today, February 20, to reach a contract deal or negotiations will be moved to Washington D.C. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker also joined the contract negotiations in southern California late this week.
Port of Oakland terminal operations halted yesterday, February 19, due to the union's monthly stop work meeting. The meeting is regularly scheduled, however, it is typically held during the second shift. Since it was held during the first shift, gate, yard and vessel work did not take place yesterday. Normal port operations are expected to resume today, February 20.
As contract negotiations resumed on Tuesday, February 17, the Marine Exchange of Southern California reported 22 containerships at anchor in the San Pedro Bay. Some of the busiest West Coast ports have reported substantial volume declines for the month of January year-over-year. The Port of Oakland disclosed that total container volumes dropped 32 percent in January compared to last year. The Port of Long Beach also announced that container cargo volumes were down 18.8 percent in January year-over-year. Additionally, the Ports of Seattle and Tacoma stated their combined container volumes fell 13 percent in January compared to 2014.