PPAI has joined with 75 other organizations in a letter to the International Longshoreman’s Association (ILA) and the United States Maritime Alliance (USMX) urging a swift return to the table after negotiations on a labor contract extension broke down. The current labor contract, which covers all of the ports from Maine to Texas, expires September 2018.

The ILA and USMX have been discussing a contract extension since 2016. Talks broke down on December 6, 2017, over a dispute regarding automated terminals.

The organizations PPAI has partnered with on the letter represent manufacturers, farmers and agribusinesses, wholesalers, retailers, importers, exporters, distributors, transportation and logistics providers, and other supply chain stakeholders. In reaching out to the ILA and USMX, they note that supply chain disruptions arising out of contract negotiations are well documented and that such disruptions can have enormous economic impacts.

The letter states: “We recognize the important issues both parties must resolve during negotiations. But we believe those issues can only be resolved by negotiations. When talks are put on hold it causes great uncertainty, shifts in logistical plans and even economic damage.”