February 6, 2015
The latest news, company announcements, DHX-Dependable Hawaiian Express events and industry-position posts.

At Time of Crisis, Remain Calm

Some customers and employees have asked what our plan is with respect to the current West Coast Owner/Longshoreman Contract dispute. Honestly the plan is not to panic. There is currently a slow down by labor and a reduction in working hours by the owners  who are represented by a group called the PMA. Between the PMA and Longshoremen, there is a good chance there will either be a lockout or a strike within the next few weeks. This is actually good for the West Coast ports and their constituents like us because it will cause the government to invoke the Taft Hartley Act. This will then enforce a 90 day cooling off period, forcing both labor and owners back to work in earnest without all the public manipulation and bad faith bargaining that is making it feel to those negotiating like salt being rubbed into a wound.

Given constraints, we have done our best to minimize delays in every possible way (at great cost and expense) while trying to maintain the service our customers have grown to expect and deserve from us. Our normal two-hour turnarounds at the harbor have become 7-8 hour turns, sometimes with no results.

Communication of sailing schedules, which under current circumstances changes multiple times, has resulted in customers receiving 6-7 emails regarding the actual sailing of a single shipment – the time we have invested in trying to communicate these changes is huge. We have pondered moving our International Operations to the East Coast but until a couple weeks ago, the delays had not been insurmountable so as of now, we have not proceeded in that manner. The PMA understands that these types of delays make no sense, and hence have now ratcheted up the heat with the public, forcing a lockout or strike soon and inevitably the invocation of Taft Hartley.

Our plan:
  1. Continue business as usual, do not panic.

  2. Continue to communicate with our Customers any delays affecting their shipments.

  3. Continue to offer airfreight through DGX-Dependable Global Express for those who must have deadlines met.

  4. At the current moment, because so many have tried to move their product off the East Coast or to the East Coast (with a longer transit time) those ports are buried. We are not currently looking at that as a viable alternative. If the Taft Hartley cooling off period does not allow the situation, be it a lock out or strike, to end prior to a month before the cooling off period is over, then we will consider moving to East Coast operations for International shipments.

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