Supply chain experts and operators have shared optimism about upcoming longshore labor negotiations – a positive sign that we may avoid significant port labor slowdowns.

According to, the upbeat mindset comes from recent comments made by Longshore union leadership itself. The story reports that International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) President Willie Adams stated an intention to quickly reach an agreement.

Typically, neither the union nor the port employers make public comments before negotiations even start. Industry experts have pointed the comments out as a positive sign that talks will be productive and that disruptions could be avoided.

White House Discourages Labor Slowdowns 

The Biden administration is pushing for quick negotiations that avoid any work slowdowns, according to White House staffers have put their full weight into keeping supply chains moving after severe port congestion caught national attention. Biden’s team has met with both sides to encourage a quick and simple process.

Negotiation Timeline  

The official deadline for a deal between labor and management is July 1. However, the parties have rarely met their deadlines in previous negotiations. Once negotiations run long, the risk for a deliberate work slowdown intensifies. While it remains unlikely that the two sides will strike a deal before July 1, stakeholders have still expressed confidence that negotiations will ultimately be successful with minimal disruption to operations. This is welcome news for importers who have struggled with two years of supply chain hurdles.

Scarbrough continues to monitor labor negotiations on the west coast and will share any updates that may affect our partners.