Pier Pressure – David Smith and Sean Jasso Comment on Port Labor Agreement in LA Business Journal
The two South Bay ports are eager for a normal year.
After nearly two years of exceptionally high monthly import cargo numbers, the Port of Los Angeles and Port of Long Beach each settled into a bit of a lull late last year. They’ve spent this year slowly building that number back up to a comfortable load, but have also been waiting for labor negotiations to produce a new contract for longshoremen and defuse any risk of work disruption. A tentative agreement was reached last month, and the unions will vote soon on ratifying it.
For an article in the Los Angeles Business Journal, two Pepperdine Graziadio Business School faculty weighed in on the talks:
“I think it bodes well for the future. Things look positive in terms of the agreement. It’s going to take some time to get it ratified,” said David Smith, a labor economist and professor of economics at Pepperdine Graziadio. “Of course, it costs more to ship items to other ports, so I think if they can settle this with an agreement in place, they can have less uncertainty in the environment about work stoppage and work disruption. It’s pretty important to the L.A. economy, so I think this agreement does bode well.”
“L.A-Long Beach remains the most efficient for shippers,” said Sean Jasso, a practitioner of economics at Pepperdine Graziadio. “It’s less efficient to go from the Pacific to any other port. The reason I think we’ve seen shippers avoid L.A., other than pandemic reasons, one of the main variables of this has been the labor contract.”
Read the full article in the Los Angeles Business Journal.