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Ag container shipments could be tied up with possible port dispute

The Soy Transportation Coalition executive director says he’s closely following labor negotiations between the International Longshoreman Association and U.S. Maritime Alliance.

Mike Steenhoek tells Brownfield a potential strike at East and Gulf Coast ports would put agricultural container exports at risk.

“It’s not going to be impacting our bulk shipments as much as container shipments, but it’s something that’s of concern to us,” he says.

Steenhoek says the bulk grain terminals in the Gulf Coast operate on separate contracts and should not affected by the negotiations.

He says a worker stoppage would increase export costs and tarnish the U.S.’s reputation.  

“If you really want to be a competitive industry, a competitive economy, having a predictable, reliable supply chain is essential,” he explains. “That’s why we take these things very seriously. It’s important for these things to get resolved.”

The ongoing negotiations impact 36 U.S. ports along the East and Gulf Coasts and more than 50 percent of all U.S. containers.

AUDIO: Mike Steenhoek, Soy Transportation Coalition

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