If you thought the L.A. port strike was serious...

Consider what might happen if dockworkers and shipping companies from East Coast ports can't come to terms by Dec. 29, when the current contract expires. A total of 14 container ports from Maine to the Gulf of Mexico could be affected - and there are no great alternatives for diverting traffic. Union officials are set to meet with the Maritime Alliance and federal mediators on Monday. From the WSJ:

East Coast importers are likely to face increased use of air freight, which is more expensive, or so-called slow-steaming of ocean freight in hopes of goods arriving after a strike has ended. Jon Hurst, president of the Retailers Association of Massachusetts, said the bulk of his group's members are focused primarily on getting through the U.S. holiday season. But a strike that idled container terminals all along the East Coast early in the new year would be "a huge concern." "Replenishing the store inventories is a constant process," Mr. Hurst said. "I would hope that cooler heads would prevail" and a strike will be averted.

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Mark Lacter
Mark Lacter created the LA Biz Observed blog in 2006. He posted until the day before his death on Nov. 13, 2013.
Mark Lacter, business writer and editor was 59
The multi-talented Mark Lacter
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