Port Oakland truckers protest heated up, eastern US siege crisis

by chief

The protests of truckers at the Port of Oakland , the fifth largest container port in the United States and the third largest port in California, have heated up. The port has been designated as a “free speech zone”. .

SSA Marine, Oakland’s largest terminal operator, has suspended operations throughout the day since the US Supreme Court on June 30 rejected an appeal by the California Assembly that AB5 should not apply to truck drivers. Truck drivers protested.

Bill AB5, passed in 2019, requires truck drivers to meet three conditions to be independent contractors or be considered employed.

“Strikes say the bill’s requirements are unreasonable and will negatively impact approximately 70,000 truck drivers, or two-thirds of California port truckers,” said supply chain risk analysis firm Everstream Analytics.

Due to the protests, the Port of Oakland terminal is currently unable to operate, the import containers are stagnant at the port, and the goods cannot be cleared and released smoothly.

“The import container was sitting at the Port of Oakland for more than two weeks, and now it’s sitting at the port for more time as truckers protest the restrictions,” said Josh Brazil, vice president of supply chain insights at logistics intelligence firm Project44.

The knock-on effect of the trucker protests, resulting in a diversion of seaborne trade from West Coast ports to East Coast ports, continues, resulting in an increase in the number of cargo ships berthed in the eastern United States.

Alex Charvalias, Head of Supply Chain In-Transit Visibility at MarineTraffic, said: “We’ve seen cargo ships skip the Port of Auckland, and compared to a week ago, we expect a 16% drop in incoming cargo by the end of August. In the case of the Maersk MAERSK ALTAIR, the The ship has skipped Oakland and is on its way to the Port of Long Beach, the second largest port in the United States.”

The number of cargo ships emerging at ports in the eastern United States has increased. Currently, 36 cargo ships have skipped the Port of Oakland and went to the Port of Savannah, the third largest port in the United States, to wait for inbound and unloading, with a total carrying capacity of 311,300 20-foot TEUs.

That’s the number of containers that Savannah can handle in more than half a month, Charvalias said. Even if the cargo ship detours to the port of Charleston, the fourth largest container import port in the eastern United States, it will not help. The congestion effect will only further disrupt the already collapsed land transportation operations. It may take several months to clear the backlog of containers.

(Image: Hui)
TEU throughput at US ports remains above pre-pandemic levels, with total TEUs in the first quarter of this year 35% higher than the trough in the second quarter of 2020 (Photo: Fitch)

Fitch recently released a report stating that due to continued uncertainty in the supply chain, labor issues at freight ports may prolong transportation bottlenecks and temporarily reduce freight volumes, and global port congestion and high freight rates are expected to continue until 2023. These give labor more leverage in negotiations.

Juhengwang| Luo Yunmei

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