Drayage truckers play an important role in the international freight shipping process. Drayage involves short distance trucking of freight from the port to the warehouse or rail before or after a maritime voyage. Traditionally, the cost for drayage is included into the ocean freight shipping quote. Without drayage, shipping would be very different for many businesses.
Recently, it was reported that about 200 truck drivers at the Los Angeles-Long Beach Port went on strike. This represents roughly 12 percent the drayage drivers at these terminals. As of now, no cargo has been impacted by the strikes, but that could change in the future.
These drayage drivers are picketing their terminals and making specific demands. They no longer wish to be classified as independent contractors and want to be employees. They want to negotiate for better wages and benefits with the owners.
The reason behind the picketing is because of the longer wait times at these two ports. During the massive congestion at the ports during winter, due in part to labor disputes and chassis shortages, most drayage drivers had to wait an average of 112 minutes to pick up containers. Even though the congestion is over, their wait time is 102 minutes, which is about the same. These workers, under the name of Justice for Port Truck Drivers, also would like to have the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) to recognize their strike.
Shippers, who, are concerned that this new possible strike might impact their shipments, should speak to their trusted freight forwarder.