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Two shipping alliances skip Charleston to duck ILA dock dispute

A DOCK dispute between the International Longshoremen's Association (ILA) and the South Carolina Ports Authority (SCPA) as marred the opening over the Port of Charleston's new Hugh Leatherman Terminal over the question of whether the ILA will handle the work

11 May 2021 - 19:00
A DOCK dispute between the International Longshoremen's Association (ILA) and the South Carolina Ports Authority (SCPA) as marred the opening over the Port of Charleston's new Hugh Leatherman Terminal over the question of whether the ILA will handle the work.

Ocean carriers within two of the three major vessel-sharing alliances - THE Alliance and OCEAN Alliance - are holding off on calling the Port of Charleston's Leatherman terminal until a dispute is settled.



As a results Taiwanese and Chinese ships have shied off from using the terminal until the dispute is settled.



The SCPA said members of the two shipping alliances have switched their calls away from the new facility to Charleston's Wando Welch Terminal. The Ocean Alliance includes CMA CGM/APL, Cosco Shipping, Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL), and Evergreen while THE Alliance consists of Ocean Network Express, Hapag-Lloyd, HMM, and Yang Ming.



The April opening of the Leatherman terminal was timed to help handle an elevated surge of Asian imports, SCPA said, and now that diverted volume is hitting Waldo Welch, which is already handling record volumes. The 13,500-TEU Cosco Shipping Rose, which was due to go to Leatherman on Monday, berthed in Wando Welch instead.



'All these actions are occurring in a time of unprecedented disruption in the global supply chain in major United States ports and seemingly without regard for the impact on the end-user customers of South Carolina Ports' facilities,' the SCPA said.



Yang Ming's 14,220-TEU YM Warranty, part THE Alliance, and the 13,100-TEU Cosco Hope have switched their calls from Leatherman to Wando Welch, but German shipping giant Hapag-Lloyd, already hit with an ILA lawsuit, is still calling Leatherman terminal.



The ILA on April 20 filed a lawsuit against Hapag-Lloyd, OOCL, and the United States Maritime Alliance (USMX) for US$300 million, alleging they conspired to break the main longshore contract when they allowed non-union labour to unload a ship at Leatherman terminal. SCPA dismissed the suit as 'frivolous,' arguing the matter would be better settled by National Labour Relations Board (NLRB).


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