Dear Supply Chain Professional;
Many DCA member companies are participating in the Annual WERC Conference in Orlando, so we thought this Spotlight on the southeast regional market, and DCA’s Florida member company, West Logistics, quite timely. Let us know by reply if you’d like to connect there!
The Distribution Centers of America (www.teamdca.com), publishes a regular series of spotlights on its sixteen member companies, each a ‘best-in-class’ 3PL providing regional services, and together providing national warehousing and transportation services strategically located throughout the US. The following article highlights insights and trends in the Southeast region, drawn from an interview with Maurice Bremekamp, VP of Sales for M&W Distribution, a West Logistics company, the DCA member company located in Tampa, FL and providing service throughout the Southeast.
PORT DISPUTE ON WEST COAST FELT IN FLORIDA
For more than nine months, negotiations between the West Coast dockworker labor unions and their employer port companies dragged on without resolve. Meanwhile, an increasing number of ships found themselves anchored off the coast in a growing ‘backlog,’ waiting for the ports to clear in order to unload their cargo. Many ships loaded with containers of food waited in this traffic jam while their cargo rotted onboard. Even with a deal reached, it will take months for companies to sort through the backlog.
The West Coast dispute, however, has provided a silver lining opportunity for East Coast ports to shine. Florida, in particular, has always had an excellent strategic advantage in trade and logistics for many reasons. Its proximity to the East/West all-water route from Asia via the Panama Canal, and its position as the U.S. gateway to North/South trade with the emerging economies of Central and South America, have encouraged the state’s status as a logistics hub. In addition, Florida has made major investments in their port infrastructure that have allowed them to handle over 3.1 million 20-foot equivalent units of containerized cargo annually and the capacity to take on much more. Out of desperation with the West Coast bottleneck, shippers have been increasingly diverting their traffic to East Coast ports. As a result, the biggest East Coast ports had a 10.2 percent more growth than the biggest West Coast ports in the fourth quarter of 2014, “compared to a 1.6 difference from the year before”, according to Biz Journal.