Two West Coast ports open

by Erica Shaffer
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Port of Long Beach
Shipping activities resumed at the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles — only two of 29 West Coast ports.

LONG BEACH, Calif. – The ports at Long Beach and Los Angeles resumed shipping activities Feb. 17, according to news reports. The ports re-opened following a four-day partial shutdown of 29 shipping ports on the West Coast.

The Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) announced the partial shutdown after contract negotiations stalled between PMA and the International Longshoreman and Warehouse Union (ILWU). PMA members suspended the unloading of ships on Feb. 12 and Feb. 14-16. Terminals were able to move containers onto trucks and trains, but the action effectively closed the West Coast ports. US Labor Secretary Tom Perez traveled to the West Coast to meet with both sides in the labor dispute.

Meanwhile, the West Coast port troubles continue to challenge the meat industry. Exporters of US beef, pork and poultry face growing backlogs of shipping containers — especially at the Port of Long Beach.

“The ongoing crisis at West Coast ports is costing the meat and poultry industry more than $40 million per week in lost sales and unexpected export charges, and is leading many companies to search for additional space to store frozen meat and poultry export products to prevent spoilage,” the North American Meat Institute (NAMI) said in a statement.

“Livestock producers could face declining prices if export product fails to reach Asian markets,” NAMI added.

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