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Looming labor problems shaping up at East and Gulf Coast ports this fall have apparel makers, retailers and other shippers scratching their heads and wondering whether they should send their holiday shipments to the West Coast.
Contract negotiations between the International Longshoremen’s Association and the United States Maritime Alliance—which represents East Coast shipping lines, terminal operators and 14 ports—got underway in March for a contract that expires Sept. 30.
“There have been rumblings about diverting cargo,” said Vincent Salvo, co-president of Carmichael International Service, a Los Angeles freight forwarder and customs broker that has many apparel clients.
Port executives may be optimistic about a cargo windfall this autumn, but West Coast longshore workers could dampen that spirit.
In early May, ILWU President Bob McEllrath stated that West Coast dock workers would stand in solidarity with their East Coast brethren when it comes to protecting job jurisdiction as employers introduce new automated cargo-handling equipment.
“No one should listen to the recent hum of industry executives suggesting they know what dockworkers on the...

The Port of Vancouver USA is halfway through its 10-year, $150 million freight access improvement project, and construction is set to hit its high point this summer.
The West Vancouver Freight Access project is designed to reduce congestion on regional rail lines. The effort, which began in 2007 and will finish by 2017, involves 21 projects, hundreds of construction workers and freight trains chugging through jobsites every day.
More in the Daily Journal of Commerce

William Ackman, an activist investor, won a resounding victory on Thursday in wrestling control of Canadian Pacific Railroad, as the CEO resigned Thursday and six other directors, including the chairman, joined him in not standing for re-election.
The resignation of Fred Green and the decision by Chairman John Cleghorn and four other directors not to seek another term paves the way for the seven-director slate proposed by Ackman, principal of Pershing Square Capital Management. The move will also likely allow Ackman’s champion, E. Hunter Harrison, former CEO of Canadian National Railway, to take the reins.
More at the Journal of Commerce

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