It’s back to business at usual at West Coast ports

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Shipments at two major West Coast ports have reportedly resumed. The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach halted operations late last week when long-running contract negotiations for union workers broke down. It is not clear if the temporary halt was the result of a strike or worker shortage.

Mike Steenhoek with the Soy Transportation Coalition told one media outlet that products shipped in bulk were not impacted, but agriculture commodities shipped by container were caught in limbo, including soybeans, chilled meat, and fresh produce.

The two ports are essentially the largest gateway for maritime trade in the U.S., accounting for 40 percent of goods arriving in the country. As uncertainty surrounding union workers and their contracts grows, international shippers have avoided the ports in favor of east coast ports.

Steenhoek says that creates more uncertainty for the U.S. food supply chain, and it will only get worse if ports can’t provide reliability.

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