Dick’s theme for the association this year is “Gateway California” which will promote the important role international trade plays in the state. In this vein, there were two interesting and timely panels at this year’s conference. The first being “An Overview of California’s Three Largest Deep Water Ports” (pictured above), and the second being “Can California Retain Its Number One Position as America’s Preeminent Gateway” (pictured below).
After months of bickering across the table and in the press, the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) and the International Longshore & Warehouse Union (ILWU) have announced they have reached a tentative agreement on the maintenance and repair of chassis. What the agreement entails remains a complete mystery.
Did the PMA grant the ILWU’s request to inspect, flag and repair chassis before leaving the marine terminals? Many in the industry think so. Similar language was part of the East Coast longshore labor contract and has led to corruption and payoffs to keep chassis moving. Is that the type of operating environment we can expect moving forward? We certainly hope not, but that’s what you get when folks who do not own the asset negotiate its maintenance and repair. Trucking industry groups have said they are looking into legal action should these inspections take place.
The remaining topics up for negotiation are wages, pensions and the length of the contract. It was widely presumed the contract would be reduced to three years this go around as a way of deferring the discussion on the Obamacare “Cadillac” tax set for collection in 2018. As part of the Affordable Care Act, “Cadillac” healthcare plans are subject to a tax. In the case of the ILWU’s $0 premium participation, $0 co-pay and $1 for prescriptions, the tax would be $150M per year. The ILWU does not want its members to absorb this tax and the PMA members cannot afford to do so. Hence the presumption this subject was “kicked down the road” in hopes a new administration and new legislature may amend the law and tax structure.
What is going on up in Vancover? We wondered the same thing so, we went to check it out…what can we learn, what can we adopt, what we can do better?
As a recap, last February, drivers went on strike in Vancouver effectively shutting down terminal operations for about a week. The end result was a 14-point plan consisting of a port approved truck licensing system, mandatory terminal appointments, delay charges for terminal transactions taking longer than 90 minutes, government defined driver pay scale, a study of the market’s supply/demand ratios and the installation of GPS on all trucks serving the port.
For the past year, the plan has been implemented, studied and refined. The supply/demand review has been completed, and as result the port authority reduced the number of approved licensed motor carriers and eliminated 600 drivers from the fleet serving the port. Hence, the latest round of driver unrest and protests in the Vancouver area.
Even before the labor negotiations soured, shippers had grown weary of the congestion on the West Coast. With the increasing delays and inability to get their products to market, whether import or export, they are exploring alternative gateways. Houston has been bantered about quite a bit lately.
This news is not good for California. Once cargo is diverted, it may never come back. Worse yet, export commodities are sitting at processing facilities, in warehouses or in containers up and down the state. Each one of these shipments represents a sale to an overseas buyer. If the buyer is unable to get their hands on the cargo, or it arrives in a damaged state due to idling and longer transit times, they will seek out alternative suppliers in other parts of the world…we are not the only ones who grow things, after all. Once a customer finds a different supplier, they may never come back to their California grower.
Reliability is woefully missing and desperately needed.
February 19, 2015 marks the Year of the Sheep/Goat on the Chinese calendar. According to Chinese mythology, the year of the Goat signifies unity with its saying being, “Unity without forging ahead leads to stagnation.” More on what to expect this year here.
Your membership matters. All the proceeds from our events fund a scholarship program to encourage new people with new ideas to join the logistics industry. Since 2004, we have awarded more than $50,000 to 29 students in the Bay Area.
While silver may be the state’s namesake, gold is now king. Nevada leads the nation in gold production and is the fourth largest gold producer in the world.
Devine Tackles the Driver Shortage
In this very newsletter, we have talked about the nationwide shortage of truck drivers and the fact there are more drivers leaving than entering the industry. Nowhere is that more evident than the drayage trucking industry. So, we took it to the streets. We fitted a pick up truck with recruiting signs and a driver recruiter. He is prowling the highways and byways of Northern California looking for qualified drivers to join our team.
If you see him out on the roads, give him a honk and a wave…a completed application would be great too.
- More than 90% of the world’s peoples kiss.
- Even chimpanzees and bonobos kiss.
- Two-thirds of people tilt their heads to the right when kissing.
- In 16th century Naples, public kissing carried the death penalty.
- Richard Gere is wanted in India for publicly kissing an Indian actress in 2007.