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Volume 27, Issue 4

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June 27, 2014

How a West Coast ports strike will impact US supply chains

National Retail System (NRS) has released the results of a survey into how a West Coast ports strike could impact logistics in the USA. With a strike looming as the holiday season gets nearer, the NRS' survey found that only 52 percent of the companies who responded are prepared for such an eventuality.

The logistics professionals surveyed came from a variety of different sectors including 36 percent in manufacturing and 18 percent in retail, as well as 23 percent working for other 3PL logistics providers across the USA.

The anticipated strike has seen a variety of contingency plans being put in place. The most popular of those is to use alternative ports. The biggest winners of the alternative ports are the New England ports New York / New Jersey and Boston with 39 percent of businesses choosing to route trade through these. The up and coming port of Savannah, Georgia is the next most popular option with 26 percent, and the Canadian Port of Vancouver is seen as the third best option for a further 23 percent of companies. While all of these ports are likely to see a short-lived boom if the strikes take place what will be interesting is how much trade will not return after a strike ends and still be routed through these destinations. Will businesses want to mitigate future risk and leave a proportion of their imports coming through alternatives?

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