An unexpected walkout by longshoremen today shut down port operations at the nation's largest east coast port. The unexpected walkout has retailers concerned that a prolonged disruption could hamper economic growth and wreak havoc on spring deliveries. A slowdown last year on the west coast created a logistical nightmare for American exporters, manufacturers, and retailers that depend on our nations' supply chain to move goods across the country.
"This is déjà vu for retailers, and an unwelcome start to 2016. A shutdown on the East Coast of any meaningful duration will have dire consequences for those dependent on spring inventory deliveries," said Kelly Kolb, vice president of government affairs for the Retail Industry Leaders Association. "A long-lasting strike would ultimately impact thousands of jobs along America's supply chain."
"Given recent unrest in the markets, a self-inflicted wound like this is also the last thing the economy needs," said Kolb. "Hopefully this walkout will be resolved quickly and operations will be back to normal on Monday."
RILA is the trade association of the world's largest and most innovative retail companies. RILA members include more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers, which together account for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales, millions of American jobs and more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities and distribution centers domestically and abroad.