US Port Dispute Linked to Low Trade Deficit


As a result of the recent port dispute between the International Longshore Workers Union (ILWU) and the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA), the US trade deficit has fallen to its lowest level for more than five years.

PTI previously reported that a labour dispute between the PMA and the ILWU had caused a number of USWC ports to shutdown, resulting in losses of $1bn-a-day.

In Transport Topics recently, Tom Porcelli, Chief US Economist at RBC Capital Markets in New York, said: “You’re still dealing with West Coast port strikes. The port activity will skew the numbers towards one of improvement from a trade perspective. That will be temporary because now with the port strike resolved, you’ll get back to a more normal, steady state.”

Even with the port strike resolved, there are still concerns that the backlog in containers and the strong performance of a number of USEC ports could still affect the volume of trade coming into the USWC.

Pier Pass recently launched an initiative to help clear some of the congestion caused by the labour dispute, having moved close to 50% of containers by truck in a two-peak period using its ‘Off-peak’ programme.

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