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Logistics Matters with DC Velocity

April 14, 2023

David Maloney and Paul Brashier


DC VELOCITY’s new podcast is designed to help you keep up with what’s happening in this fast-changing industry. Each week, the editors of DC VELOCITY discuss the latest news and developing trends we all need to know about to keep ahead of the competition. We also talk to industry experts and practitioners in the logistics field.

In this week’s podcast, Paul Brashier, the VP of Drayage and Intermodal at ITS Logistics, discusses the conditions at the West Coast container ports, including the ongoing labor strikes. Additionally, the chemical industry is still facing supply chain issues, and Amazon is combating fraudulent products.

“The largest challenge is the unknown and with supply chain and even business not knowing exactly what’s going to happen is the largest headwind not just our selves as transportation providers but the BCOs face as well. Many supply chains are putting motion months if not years in advance and if there us not enough a clear directive in fluidity in supply chain these problems metastasized and magnified and cause even greater issues if you think about what happened in 2020 during covid when terminals shut down due to restrictions on labor there were still 4 weeks of freight on the water trans Pacific coming in the United States and that backs up. Where we are right now not only has immediate impact but if it gets really really problematic it could be something that lingers on for weeks, months–multiple months ending in even 2024. That is something we have to be always vigilant on.” says Paul Brashier, the VP of Drayage and Intermodal.

What happens to the freight movements in the flow of goods if the strike does happen?

In the event of a strike, freight movements in the flow of goods would be impacted, and there may be a diversion of bookings to other areas to hedge against the potential disruption. Some of the areas that may receive the diverted freight include Houston, the East Coast, primarily the Southeast, as well as Vancouver and even Mexico. To avoid the West Coast ports in the United States, shippers will have to push their cargo to these other areas. Shippers may also start booking in the spot market and differing freight to avoid the potentially contentious labor negotiations. This may start materializing as soon as next month. As most of the freight for the Christmas and retail peak season comes into the United States late Q2 or early Q3, this could be an opening salvo that forces the BCOs to push more of that freight outside of the West Coast says Brashier.

Listen to the whole podcast here.