Companies engaging in international trade with the US and China are approaching a critical point in the shipping cycle. Chinese and Southeast Asian businesses shut down for their New Year celebration at the beginning of February. While factories stop production around the 5th of February, governmental bodies and companies in the shipping industry will start observing the holiday around February 8th and 9th. Actual dates of observance vary by country but most business resumes around February 18th.

Concurrently, in the U.S., the ILA and USMX continue negotiations in an attempt to settle on an agreement by the contract expiration of February 6th. Although progress in the talks has been made, there are still major issues on the table. The stakes are high with labor strikes from Maine to Texas hanging in the balance.

Matt Parrott, Director of Transportation, commented, “In regard to the ongoing contract negotiations, there are a lot of shippers’ livelihoods on the line if a strike occurs. Between the upcoming Chinese New Year down time and the contract talks, the industry is on pins and needles.”

Reprinted with permission from A.N.Deringer, Inc.