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ILWU and PMA negotiations coming up this summer!

Coming in June, the ILWU contract will expire and need to be renewed, leaving shippers, importers, exporters, and forwarders with concerns about delays or work stoppages that could happen if the negotiations falter. After a year plus of port delays, bottlenecks, and record delays, the looming specter of further delays and disruption, everyone is paying close attention to the way negotiations unfold between the longshoremen and Pacific Maritime Association (PMA).

Possible sticking issues include compensation and automation, which are fairly typical for the situation.
Shanghai lockdown spreads disruption
In an effort to keep our readership up to date on the delays being caused by the shutdown that started in Shanghai and has now spread to other provinces and cities, Coppersmith has put together a few key numbers to monitor the situation. It’s our goal that we can update these statistics with alerts that either the trend has been resolved or an “at-a-glance” visual representation of the change. 
West Coast needs rail to help them catch up on the backlog
Container dwell times on the US West Coast are becoming a problem to the point that Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg has asked railroads to step in and assist with the backlog. As of the week of April 12th, there were 16,000 containers waiting for space on a train which drove dwell times to 5.2 days. This is up from 3.5 days in January. With a lack of equipment and labor, Class I railroads are struggling to keep up considering there is a great deal of disruption at rail points between Los Angeles and Chicago and the workforce has reduced by 45,000 people or roughly 29% during the past half-decade.
Coppersmith attended Coverings earlier this month in Las Vegas.
Coverings is one of the largest trade shows for stone, granite, marble, tiles, wood, and building materials. Coppersmith is very experienced in handling these kinds of shipments and we are determined to keep up with the market, trends, and shipping needs of the industry. We met with many of our clients, agents, and shippers at the show. It was so nice to be able to do so in person again. 
Carriers believe that blanking sailings for cargo tied up at Chinese and Southeast Asian ports due to the lockdown will help preserve rates and bookings, despite knowing, as they did in the pandemic that those spaces are going to be needed the very moment that the lockdown eases and the tidal wave of cargo starts to flow out of China and directly to the rest of the world.
Rates are starting to increase between Europe and the United States, particularly in Italy as consumers wait for ports in China to reopen to full exports. According to Container-News. com, "MSC will push up its (FAK) rates from the ports of Genova and La Spezia to the ports of New York and Long Beach, effective from 5/13/2022 until further notice but not past 5/31/2022."
The FMC has finished the first round of carrier meetings for their investigation into how shipping lines are servicing the export shippers who have been vocal about issues arising regarding both price and service. This is in addition to the issues that arose from detention and demurrage inquiries that started the investigation.
Russia is struggling to find willing nations to continue exporting to them as they start to feel the economic pinch of sanctions that were set against them after they invaded Ukraine. While there is not a traditional global embargo, and both Maersk and MSC are both still calling Russia, imports to the country are dwindling at difficult levels.
In a bid to avoid the waiting times and congestion on the west coast, shippers who diverted their containers to the east coast are now feeling the pinch as delays begin to pile up under huge numbers of ships trying to unload. The good news is that things are perking up a little on the west coast, which was the goal initially but could backfire shortly.