Some of the best news of last weekend didn’t come from New Orleans and had nothing to do with the Super Bowl. For intermodal cargo shippers in the United States, the best news of all came from New Jersey, where labor mediators for the ILA and US Maritime Alliance were working all last week to come to an agreement on labor disputes.
The International Longshoremen’s Association and United States Maritime Alliance hammered out a tentative agreement for a new Master agreement between the two groups. This was huge news to cargo companies all over the country, as it helped to ensure that for the next six years, there will be no economy crushing coast-wide strike.
Along with other leading intermodal cargo shipping companies, Calhoun Truck Lines has been carefully watching the labor talks and contract negotiations taking place between the International Longshoremen’s Association and United States Maritime Alliance. And the fallout has been terrible for the intermodal freight economy.
The continued threat of a coast-wide port shutdown has wreaked havoc on the supply chain for the past year. Difficulties in planning cargo shipments because of possible striking workers has forced U.S. retailers, manufacturers, farmers and shipping companies like Calhoun Truck Lines to build contingency plans into its supply chain disruption, affecting their normal business plans and monthly goals. It’s been a difficult operating time for the firm, as we’ve had to continually adjust plans to make sure our cargo reached its destination.
The National Retail Federation released a statement over the weekend that said its members were pleased with the agreement. “The retail industry, which supports one in every four U.S. jobs, is pleased to hear that the ILA and USMX have reached a tentative, long-term master contract,” said NRF CEO Matthew Shay in the statement. “We urge the parties to quickly complete any outstanding negotiations, including local negotiations at each of the individual 14 ports, and quickly ratify the new labor agreement.”
Calhoun Truck Lines is relieved that the talks have come to a seemingly successful resolution. An agreement was needed by the February 6th deadline, and we’re pleased it came over this past weekend. Frankly, we’re not fans of down-to-the-wire, last minute finishes. We’re sure some football fans we know on the opposite coasts aren’t fond of those types of outcomes either.