US labor dispute causes traffic jams on the West Coast

Global Business

Residents in the sprawling seaside metropolis of Los Angeles are used to extreme traffic gridlock on their roads, but this traffic problem is out in the ocean. A U.S. labor dispute has created the maritime equivalent of chronic traffic jams heading into the 29 ports on the U.S. West Coast. CCTV’s Chris Casquejo reported on this story from Seattle.

US labor dispute causes traffic jams on the West Coast

US labor dispute causes traffic jams on the West Coast

Residents in the sprawling seaside metropolis of Los Angeles are used to extreme traffic gridlock on their roads, but this traffic problem is out in the ocean. A U.S. labor dispute has created the maritime equivalent of chronic traffic jams heading into the 29 ports on the U.S. West Coast. CCTV's Chris Casquejo reported on this story from Seattle.

More than 30 massive container ships wait to dock in Los Angeles. Specifically in one of its metropolitan seaside communities called Long Beach. Almost fifteen hundred kilometers north, in Seattle, 16 hulking vessels sit in Puget Sound waiting their turn to unload cargo.

Longshoremen were locked out over a long U.S. holiday weekend, the latest move in a nine-month labor dispute that has been disrupting global supply chains from Singapore to Seattle.

Shipping hay through ports in Canada and the Gulf Coast would cost too much for companies like Calaway Trading which is an animal feed exporter in eastern Washington State.

Since the dispute began, Calaway’s sales are down around $10 million. The company also had to cut back on workers’ hours. Blaine Calaway worried about losing his customers in Asia because of the strike. Calaway predicts they will eventually start to look to other countries like Spain, in Europe, for livestock feed.

Transport company manager Joey Stivala believes he has lost business that he won’t get back. What has happened to Stivala could happen to all of America’s west coast ports, which handle more than 70 percent of Asian imports to the U.S.

CCTV’s Chris Casquejo reported on this story from Seattle, Washington in the U.S.