The labor dispute between West Coast ports and the longshormen’s union is having an effect on the California economy. Nick Vyas directs the Center for Global Supply Chain Management at the University of Southern California. He estimates California has lost between a half billion and a billion dollars since the port labor dispute began. And he says state leaders should take an active role in trying to end the dispute.
"I think state government can certainly exert their influence," he says. "Because obviously, we in California don’t want to lose the distinct advantage of being the gateway to the Pacific and marginalize that."
Vyas says 40 percent of the goods consumed in the US come through West Coast ports, a large number of them through the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.
"Most of the goods that get manufactured in Asia come via Pacific Ocean through the Port of Los Angeles, Long Beach," he says. "So you are talking about footwear to apparel to furniture to many consumable items."
Vyas says the labor dispute is likely hitting smaller businesses the hardest because they don’t have the resources to pay for alternate shipping options, which are usually more expensive.