MIAMI, Fla. -- Time is running out for labour negotiations between the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) and the United States Maritime Alliance (USMX).
The current ILA labor contract expires at midnight on Wednesday February 6, 2013. After that, unless a new deal is reached or another extension is announced, the U.S. East & Gulf Coast port community could be engulfed in a wide strike.
The two-sides continue to meet in negotiations. i
To alleviate the potential impact of a disruption, carriers are encouraging all customers with import dry/reefer loads currently sitting on terminal to take every available opportunity to have those loads picked up before February 6, 2013.
Equally, they strongly encourage the expedient return of all empty containers and chassis by February 6, 2013.
Major carriers have filed for authority to issue congestion surcharges to offset costs of a work stoppage. Surcharges are in the range of usd 1000 per 40' container. Surcharges would not be imposed unless there is a work stoppage. Officials at several U.S. East and Gulf Coast ports report that they are monitoring negotiations between the two sides and will announce contingency plans if a work stoppage appears likely.