Anticipating and Planning for a US West Coast Port Strike in 2014

Contingency Planning and Preparation

  • Form a Contingency Planning / Management Team.
  • Take a multi-tiered approach that looks at various combinations of inventory management based on near-term demand.
  • Prepare to increase forward inventories by advancing the execution of orders (X number of weeks prior to the June 30 contract expiration date).
  • Prioritize orders, and secure container equipment and ground transportation- outbound and inbound.
  • Secure storage capacity to hold and stage inventories for movement to forward markets.
  • Consider alternative sourcing points globally and alternative modes of transportation.
  • If routing via Canada, the cargo must move inbound to cross the border into the US. Anticipate and plan for border congestion.
  • If routing via Mexico, please note that nation’s limited rail capacity and infrastructure. Expect a number of restrictions for Global Data Management Services (GDMS) and tax levies to be implemented. Shipments will be required to use routes and motor carriers previously authorized by Aduana, the Mexico Department of Customs.
  • Anticipate the declaration of Force Majeure from ocean carriers, and have all necessary pricing and routes in place for other modes of transportation.
  • Consider seaports in advance that do not support a potential strike or lockout.
  • In the event of a strike at multiple seaports, air freight will be one of the most expedient options to assure on-time arrival and avoidance of supply chain disruptions.
  • Take advantage of sea-air-intermodal combination routes which bring your cargo by sea into Canada, Mexico, or the US East and Gulf coasts, with air lift or surface intermodal to the Midwest, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle.
  • By deploying Full Container Load (FCL) to Mexico, Panama, and Cartagena shipments can arrive in Houston, Miami and other East Coast ports.
  • Deploying FCL to East Coast ports in combination with air cargo transportation to Midwest, South West and West Coast markets.