No port-truck backups today. So what happens now?

That more-routine lineup of trucks around 8:30 this morning, near the entrance to T-18, was the last one we saw today, after the city and port announced and took steps to head off any threat of a third day of backups onto the West Seattle Bridge and surface streets. By afternoon, when we checked again pre-commute, even that terminal-entrance lane was empty. So what now? No official updates from SDOT or the Port, but Councilmember Tom Rasmussen told WSB tonight, “SDOT has advised me that the Port and City will continue the work and changes that were implemented today through Thursday. Of course, I want to know the plans for after next Thursday.”

Earlier in the day, ILWU Local 19 sent a news release (read it here) saying it had an even simpler suggestion: “The terminal operators, including Stevedoring Services of America at T18, need to immediately address the daytime traffic problems in Seattle by shifting operations to service trucks at night as well as days. It really is that simple,” according to Local 19 vice president Jason Gross. The schedule changes were mentioned in this ILWU news release we linked in our Thursday coverage; the terminal operators announced the nighttime cuts in this January 2nd news release. And while their contract negotiations continue, both sides got a letter today from more than 170 business organizations, reports CNBC, urging them to reach an agreement. The letter – which you can see here – says in part:

… Sales of American exports remain clouded in uncertainty across Asia and our overseas competitors eagerly highlight the problems at West Coast ports as a reason not to purchase American made or grown products. …

Please consider allaying the growing concerns of the many thousands of businesses and millions of jobs which rely on West Coast ports for orderly and timely supply chain operations by working together to conclude the ongoing contract negotiations so we can then address the congestion issues at key West Coast ports. …

At least nine Washington state organizations are among the signers.

8 Replies to "No port-truck backups today. So what happens now?"

  • WS Me January 16, 2015 (11:10 pm)

    Might want to avoid Admiral heading down towards beach! Heard a loud metal crash, within minutes EMERGENCY vehicles were on their way! Somebody must be very hurt…

  • WS Me January 16, 2015 (11:11 pm)

    You may want to avoid Admiral Way towards the beach.

  • Amie January 16, 2015 (11:33 pm)

    53rd and Admiral. Lady seemed to be ok. This has been happening way to offer

  • Amie January 16, 2015 (11:34 pm)

    Sorry meant often

  • Ray January 17, 2015 (12:43 am)

    Colour me skeptical, but I cannot help but think night operations would cost additional salaries (time and a half or whatever) to the unions, so of course they would be for it.

    They get their slowdowns and the added income at the expense of the shipping companies and the Port.

  • Dis January 17, 2015 (1:59 am)

    Night operations in Seattle have always been part of the normal operating procedure at the port, and any port, as a matter of fact. I don’t think there are any ports in the world that are not 24-hour operations. The ILWU is not asking for special night shifts, as if they were something new. The Pacific Maritime Association has halted the normal, usual night shifts, causing large backups as it therefore takes longer to unload and/or load the ships that are waiting to be serviced.

  • Bruce January 17, 2015 (7:33 am)

    So, on Friday all the problems disappeared and traffic was back to normal. What factor specifically (or who) caused the problems Wednesday and Thursday, and what specifically changed on Friday? Reasons please.

    • WSB January 17, 2015 (7:37 am)

      All explained in our Thursday coverage, linked above, one long multiple-update report that covered ~noon-10 pm – see the port’s comments during the day, followed by the city/port plan announced by Councilmember Rasmussen’s staff in the late afternoon and elaborated on in 10 pm SDOT news release. – TR

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