Risk of disruption during West Coast labour talks

A new contract negotiation for US West Coast dockworkers is due to begin in May, sparking fears that disputes could cause disruption at ports which are already congested.

The dockworkers union has not yet revealed its list of demands, making it difficult to predict how challenging the negotiations will be.

Some experts are predicting that the discussions will go smoothly as the union will want to continue working productively alongside the pro-union Biden administration, which has been supporting them to combat port congestion.

Nevertheless it is possible at local issues at any given port on the West Coast could prove to be a sticking point, meaning disruption cannot be ruled out.

These concerns may cause more shippers to look towards the East coast, which has been less stricken with delays. In January and February the West Coast's share of imports from Asia fell to its lowest ever level at 58.2%, down from 60% in 2021.

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