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Moving to USA – West Coast Shipping Delays

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For customers planning on moving to the USA, Abels Moving Services have been made aware of continued shipping delays via West Coast Ports. The congestion has been ongoing for several months.

For background information please see a previous article on the Abels website written back in November 2014

Update as at 17th January 2015:

The stalemate in the negotiations between the ILWU (longshoremen workers union) and PMA (employer) continues. Vessels are backed up at many West Coast ports, being held offshore waiting to unload.

The ILWU/PMA contract expired July 1, 2014. A new contract has still not been agreed to. Needless to say, this is for many reasons according to both sides of the table.

Today’s update states LA/LB has 13 vessels at anchor awaiting berth spaces. Oakland has 7. The terminals are currently at their limit as far as containers on site. This is due to alleged work slowdowns by the ILWU, PMA allegedly cancelling work shifts due to the slowdowns, chassis repair/maintenance agreement issues etc. It is a vicious circle with each side of the negotiating table trying to gain the upper hand.

Industry news today states PMA is currently pondering stopping all unloading of vessels (night shifts) until the terminals can reduce the container numbers in their yards.

There is also issues of truckers being held up for hours waiting to pick up containers. This leads to truckers not being able to handle nearly as many container moves each day, which leads to difficulties in your trucker having availability when the container is made available at the terminal.

Abels are looking at various options for customer moves that would normally need to use the west coast ports. The reason for looking at alternatives is to reduce the fees caused by the delays that therefore increase any quay and container rental fees. One option is to use rail connections via the east cost. This is more expensive when compared to traditional west cost options, but when the delays at port and additional fees for delayed west coast port usage are taken into account, rail can still be a viable option to consider from the US East Coast.

For customers moving to the USA please call your Abels customer liaison on their direct line or call head office on +44(0)1842 816600 or email