negotiations may avert port strike
At the very least, the longshoremen's strike that threatened to shut down fourteen ports serving the Gulf Coast and Eastern seaboard has been postponed, and most likely will be averted altogether.
The International Longshoremen's Association (ILA) and the United States Maritime Alliance (USMX) reached an agreement on the main issue of contention just one day before the contract was scheduled to expire on December 29, 2012. The existing contract has been extended through January 28, 2013 in order to address the remaining issues.
In the event that negotiations break down and a strike is called, shipping companies will have few options other than to have their vessels wait for a resolution. The use of Canadian ports may be considered, but those facilities have insufficient capacity to absorb incremental volumes of this size, and will become quickly congested.
It's important to bear in mind that the majority of the Leggett & Platt Store Fixtures Group import business comes through our West Coast distribution facility, which will not be affected by the ILA strike.
If the strike does occur, and your shipments are coming through the affected ports, we will keep you apprised on the status of your delivery.