The ILA (International Longshoremen’s Association -AFL-CIO) is threatening to strike which could bring imports and exports to a standstill. The shipping lines are imposing surcharges on the ocean containers in anticipation of this strike, to cover their additional delays and costs of loading and unloading their ships.
The charges are an additional $800 on a 20′ Ocean Container $800 and and additional $1,000 on a 40′ Ocean Container. This is anywhere from a 10% to 30% increase on container charges depending on the foreign port of origin or destination. This does not include delays and additional charges incurred from delays.
Basically, any products that consumers purchase that are either made overseas or have parts or components made overseas will be impacted. Think about the items you purchase that are made overseas. Then also think about all the products local manufacturers and agricultural products that are sold overseas. (or think about what this could do to CPI and PPI.)
The good news is if this strike does not happen, the shipping lines won’t impose the fees.
This was overshadowed by the Teachers Union strike in Chicago, but I think this one is going to have much more impact.
It may not be a bad idea to stock up on some supplies that may be impacted or get some of your Christmas and holiday shopping out of the way now.