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  • Writer's pictureSynthetic Resources Inc

Trains and Automobiles or ILW ?

Updated: Jul 13, 2022

This edition we will update you further on possible labor strike form the ILW ( International longshore and warehouse union ) and what is causing the congestion with trains and truck routes ?

Contract talks continue after ILWU’s West Coast pact expires

july 8,2022 by Mark Gruenberg

In a joint statement, ILWU and the Pacific Maritime Association, the coalition of 29 ports from Seattle to San Diego, both added they want to avoid a lockout or a strike.

“While there will be no contract extension, cargo will keep moving, and normal operations will continue at the ports until an agreement can be reached,” they said.

Walsh, a Laborers Local 223 member, has been in contact with both sides almost daily, but he isn’t worried. And during a trip to Los Angeles on June 10, Biden met behind closed doors with both sides, Reuters added.

Both sides “continually tell me that we’re in a good place. It’s moving forward,” Walsh told trade publications for the maritime industry. “There’s been no issues that I’m aware of that have come up that have made either side concerned.” That includes port automation, he said.

The talks are important to keeping the nation’s creaky supply chain going, especially since the port of Los Angeles-Long Beach is the nation’s busiest. Some 40% of all imported goods come through the West Coast ports, with the largest share through L.A.-Long Beach.


Results : Currently East coast congestion are caused by to possible ILW union stop work order and Rail 's threat of a strike in West coast. The US chamber of commerce is pushing the current admin. to help resolve on going labor negotiation with ILW , Railroad Union. A work stoppage would further complicate and exacerbate congestions at US port on all coasts and add more complication to already strained supply chains.

Current transit time and birth time for west coast running at 45-60 days, while east coast we are seeing 60-70 days transit and birth times.

State of the supply chain: how the railroads are being impacted.

Over the last 12 months, supply chain problems in the United States have escalated to unprecedented levels. Warehouses are full, new stock is arriving, and there’s nowhere to put it. At intermodal terminals on the coasts and inland, a shortage of chassis is making it difficult to move shipping containers.

As a result, warehouse managers have no choice but to stack containers in open areas at the terminal. And that’s where these containers stay, for days at a time, until a drayage driver comes along to collect one. It’s at the bottom of a stack five containers high, and it’ll take time to move and load it.

“When terminals are congested, there are reasons for that,” Bisaillon says. “There are issues in every leg of the supply chain. The flow of freight is not picking up as quickly as one would like. With 100 ships at anchor in the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, it’s an enormous number. I don’t think anyone has ever seen that before.”

Additionally, a lack of railroad workers is contributing to gridlock at U.S. rail terminals, causing delays in the transport of chemicals, fertilizers, and other products. Shippers and trade groups say the disruption threatens factory operations and could slow the pandemic’s recovery.

The inability of the rails to adjust to variables in supply and demand has compounded supply chain fragmentation. As U.S. ports are struggling with a backup of containers stacked on their grounds, rail depots are wrestling with the very same problem.

In September, Bloomberg news reported that “the so-called dwell time for containers at 11 major railroad depots reached an average of 9.8 days.” That was up from 6.7 days in May 2021 and 5.9 days in February 2021.

The data originated with Hapag-Lloyd AG, the world’s fifth-largest container carrier, after a tally of its own boxes. The most severe backups were in Los Angeles, where containers waited an average of 16 days to be picked up, and in Charleston, South Carolina and Detroit, Michigan, where containers waited an average of 13 days to be carted away.

The shortage of chassis that is complicating life for U.S. motor carriers and drivers is also hurting the depots’ ability to move containers through intermodal facilities.

“The average time a chassis is on the streets before it returns to an intermodal ramp has elongated by 20% versus the same time last year. That’s a huge reduction in asset productivity and it drives an imbalance in the overall supply chain.”

“When we ground a container in an intermodal facility, that’s how you know the chassis shortage is systemic,” Bisaillon says. “There are no chassis available on terminal to unload the train. It will take time to get the cycle running smoothly again.”

In Chicago, the busiest rail hub in the nation, freight railroads are playing catchup as containers arrive faster than they can be switched for transport elsewhere. Without chassis to move them, container stacks at the region’s yards have grown ever-taller. Labor and equipment shortages in the shipping, trucking, and rail industries are only compounding logistical challenges.

There are some opinions being communicated, Ocean service will stop allowing transit to Inner destination/ports so they can turn their container sooner and not held by Train for inland destinations. This would results a drastic change in rail service demands and long hull truckers for any inland destinations.

SR will continue to serve our clients by navigating through these obstacles during these challenging times. Our focus remains on consistent quality, timely delivery, and cost saving to our value partners/clients.

Any questions or concerns please reach out to us at your convenience.

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