By now I'm sure you all know about the contract dispute between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and Pacific Maritime Association, and the severe delays incurred at West Coast ports, including Oakland. The port usually runs 24 hours a day and unloads containers quickly, but has been backed up for months with work slowdowns and closures. Just as a new 5 year contract has been tentatively agreed upon by the ILWU and the Pacific Maritime Association, the Oakland port shut down last Wednesday over another dispute between workers and port operators. Thankfully it was a short-lived closure, and up and running again the following day. Union delegates are meeting from March 30 til April 3 to go over the proposed contract agreement, and will then decide whether or not to recommend that union members back the agreement. We'll be keeping our ears open and fingers crossed that a new agreement is reached.
To give you an update on how this continues to affect us, we're still waiting on a couple landed containers of coffee to clear, and also have a few arriving in the coming weeks that will enter the several-week queue. A colleague of ours recently attended the Trans-Pacific Maritime meeting in Long Beach and the general consensus is, the ports won't be "back to normal" for another 4-6 months. They reported 20-25 boats anchored at the LA/LGB port, another 24 arriving the following week, and dockworkers processing 3 ships a day on average. Not the best news, but at least things are moving. So when do we get our coffees? We're told the current slowdown roughly equates to a 3 week delay. For now we're re-routing newly purchased coffees to alternate ports and having them delivered to us by truck or by rail. We're hoping for a miracle here, that this will all resolve sooner than later. In the meantime, continue checking our site for weekly updates.