February 9, 2015 West Coast Update 2/9/2015 West Coast Ports Resume Operations After a weekend-long temporary suspension of vessel loading and unloading at West Coast Ports, operations resumed at 8am PT this morning. No further operational suspensions and no labor actions have been announced. The Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) and International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) were scheduled to resume talks today. West Coast Truckers Act Against Rising Fees On Friday, February 6th, the Harbor Trucking Association (HTA), which represents drayage companies near the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, said that more than 70 trucking companies had declared “force majeure.” This legal term is used when an entity’s ability to fulfill a contract is impeded by outside forces, in this case, the extraordinary congestion at the ports. According to a report in American Shipper, the HTA said in a press release, “These more than 70 companies have been unable to return or take possession of marine equipment due to the congestion crisis that has been impacting the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach for several months, and have each been charged hundreds of thousands of dollars in per diem and demurrage bills as a result. These unfair charges are in violation of California State Law under SB 45 and are on the brink of forcing many of our Licensed Motor Carriers (LMC) out of business.” The HTA is also calling to have a “Motor Carrier Bill of Rights” added to the Uniform Intermodal Interchange Agreement (UIIA), which is the standard agreement for ocean carriers, railroads, leasing companies and intermodal trucking companies. (Read more) For up to date information on this issue please click here.