US Senate Passes Port Performance Bill


A new piece of legislation entitled the ‘Port Performance Act’ has been approved by the US Senate committee, which aims to boost transparency between US ports and provide more of a warning around issues pertaining to the recent US West Coast port shutdown, which occurred as a result of labour disputes.

PTI previously reported that more than 25 US West Coast ports were shut down in early 2015 due to a labour dispute between the International Longshore Workers Union (ILWU) and the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA).

The shutdown resulted in a loss of around US$2 billion a day, as well as exacerbating already stifling congestion.

To read a Technical Paper by Dr Noel Hacegaba of the Port of Long Beach on the US West Coast’s strategy to  tackle congestion, click here

Senator John Thune, Chairman of the US Senate Committee, said: “Businesses in South Dakota and across our country rely on dependable port operations for vital import and export necessities.

“This bill creates a right for the public to know, and an opportunity for government officials to act, if future labour strife or any other development threatens efficient operation of maritime commerce.”

Labour strikes returned to normal operations after a renewed 5-year contract was agreed between the ILWU and the PMA.

The strikes have since returned and could lead to a fresh wave of labour tensions at a number of US ports.

Concerns have been raised that it could take months to clear the backlog of containers, with estimates reaching as high as three months.

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