Retail Leaders Bring West Coast Port Concerns To Congress

Retail industry leaders concerned about slowdowns and a possible strike at west coast ports are taking their concerns to Congress.

Kelly Kolb, vp/government affairs with the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), recently testified before a Senate subcommittee about the issues facing the retail industry, specifically supply chain operations, as a result of congestion and inefficiencies currently afflicting the nation’s ports. Kolb’s testimony detailed how daily operational challenges at ports threaten retailers’ ability to get cargo out of the ports, into their distribution networks and into the hands of consumers.

“Retailers have maximized the efficiency of moving goods through the supply chain in part by ensuring our transportation decisions reflect the multitude of services that exist,” said Kolb. “When a disturbance occurs in the system, it has a ripple effect on our members’ supply chain operations.”

While noting that the current slowdown at west coast ports may be the result of on-going contract negotiations, Kolb stressed the future impact of this issue as “increasing volumes and complexity will create similar backups, delays, higher costs and lost productivity.”

“Well performing infrastructure and an efficient supply chain is vital to economic growth in the decades ahead,” said Kolb. “Now is the time to address the challenges that could disrupt that growth, and prepare ourselves for a future that gives American workers the opportunity to reap the benefits of an expanding global economy.”