As the largest supplier of organic ingredients, High Quality Organics (HQO) imports a large percentage of organic herbs, spices and grains from family farms around the globe. The majority of those bulk organic ingredients come into the U.S. through West Coast ports. Over the past several months, shipping containers – and now shipping vessels – have started to backup and have come to a practical halt due to lagging labor talks between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Association.
The Pacific Maritime Association has reported, “backups at the five largest ports have reached levels that are no longer sustainable.” This statement suggests the “long-running labor dispute may be moving closer to a work stoppage like the one that shut down 29 West Coast ports for 10 days in 2002.”
Some important facts about the situtation:
- The 29 West Coast ports handle 43.5% of U.S. containerized cargo shipments and 12.5% of America’s GDP
- If the union goes on strike, the impact is estimated to be in the billions of dollars per day
- Food and agriculture products represent the largest percentage of product moving through these ports
High Quality Organics services the majority of organic food brands you see in the grocery store. When we cannot supply product to our customers, they have to find alternative sources of organic ingredients – which are few and far between. Many customers are on the cusp of taking food products off the grocery store shelf because they don’t have the proper ingredients to continue food production.
We are in a critical situation and are doing whatever we can to change the course of events. We’d like your help. If you are being affected by this slow-down, write to the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Association and let them know how this has financially impacted your business and that you demand they come to a resolution immediately.
More information about the West Coast port congestion can be found here:
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Angela Keyser, Vice President of Marketing and Communications here or at seven-one-five-212-2910.