Get ready! The ILWU union contract — covering 22,400 dockworkers at 29 ports from Washington state to Southern California — will be subject to negotiations to commence shortly, though no formal start date has been set. The sides will be seeking to replace an agreement that expires July 1. In past years, labor talks have taken months to resolve. During combative negotiations that ran from 2014 to 2015, slowdowns at the ports caused lengthy backups in ships off the Southern California coast. Please see“U.S. Importers Are Trying to Ship Around Potential Labor Disruption” from the Wall Street Journal, which is attached below.
Many of our clients experienced painful delays in receiving inbound products on the West Coast 2014-2015. Some of you even said that you would abandon West Coast ports forever. It is likely that 2022 will be more painful than ever. As of March 21, there are101 ships anchored offshore at Los Angeles – Long Beach (“LA-LB”) waiting 25 days to unload. Please see “NA Anchor and Estimated Dwell Report - MAR 21 2022”, below.
Now is the time to direct your inbound ocean freight to the East Coast.
The East Coast is served by ILA union, with a current contract that will not expire in 2022. Savannah, GA is the “westernmost eastern port” — on the same longitude as Youngstown, OH. With ocean freight being the least expensive form of commercial transport, you can penetrate deeply into the US interior via Savannah. The Anchor and Dwell Report above indicates that Savannah has 1 ship anchored offshore waiting 1day to unload. The Port of Savannah is only 13.7 miles from Fulfillment.com’s SAV Fulfillment Center. If your target is the North East, Fulfillment.com’s Allentown, PA Fulfillment Center is only 88.6 miles from the Port of Newark (“NY-NJ”). The Anchor and Dwell Report attached indicates that NY-NJ has only 7 ships anchored offshore waiting 6 days to unload.
Freight originating in Asia will take 10-12 days longer to reach East Coast ports, and it may cost an extra $2k to get a 40-foot container to the East Coast. However, when balancing these minimal increments of time and money to assure on-time delivery to your customers, the return on investment is more than sufficient.\
The time is now to speak to your ocean carrier or freight broker about your Asian ocean freight.
As always, your Fulfillment.com Success Manager is available to provide guidance regarding order fulfillment and last-mile delivery. With super efficient last-mile carriers, Fulfillment.com can offer low-cost delivery to any customer in the continental US in 1-3 days from any of our 4 fulfillment centers.