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.