Port Issues Update – CCGGA Helps Elevate Issue to the White House

Since late November, the California Cotton Ginners and Growers Associations (CCGGA) has been collecting information from our members and supplying that information and updates to the Governor’s office and to Senator Feinstein on a daily basis.  From congestion, container and chassis fees, to lengthy shipping delays and cancelled contracts, we have been providing this specific information to these critical people to help provoke action.  Some of this information and that of other efforts has led to the appointment of a federal mediator, which on the surface has not resulted in any positive results.  Without knowing the specifics of those negotiations, it is hard to know if we are close to a resolution or at impasse.  This past week we toured several of our processing members only to learn that shippers are now looking to Houston, Ensenada, and East Coast ports at extreme cost to get product shipped.  In some cases we now have members that are laying workers off, because they simply can’t ship product.  This led to a conference call yesterday with staff from Senator Feinstein’s office and Governor Brown’s office to discuss next steps and whether federal intervention is possible.  Prior to that call, CCGGA provided information to staff at the White House who are currently reviewing the information as well as that from other areas of commerce that have been heavily impacted.  We learned the situation does not yet meet enough of the criteria for the Federal Government to invoke the Taft-Hartley Act, which might help bring this issue to a head.  However, Senator Feinstein’s staff continues to pursue that angle to see what if anything can be done.  In the meantime, we ask that you continue to provide us with your daily updates on issues with the ports including shipping delays, trucking issues, chassis shortages, storage fees, etc.  This is how we can keep the Administration up to date on the situation and just how drastic it has become.  Please forward your information to Christopher McGlothlin, Director of Technical Services at chris@ccgga.org