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JOC Port Performance North America

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The past year demonstrated to North American ports and terminals that the international supply is stretched precariously thin, with any unforeseen glitch such as extra-loader vessels overwhelming terminals with unplanned-for container volumes, and blank sailings eliminating capacity needed to return empty containers back to their source countries, having a ripple effect throughout the supply chain. These events resulted in import warehouses filled beyond capacity, containers backing up at marine terminals, and chassis shortages resulting from excessive container dwell times at warehouses and inland rail hubs. These problems, which grew out of the US-China trade war that began in 2018, continue to plague the international supply chain.

At the same time, ports, marine terminals and inland railyards in Memphis and Chicago grappled with new and diverse chassis models, proving there is no single solution to chassis shortages and dislocations. Also in 2019, longshore unions on the West Coast, East Coast and Canada's Pacific Coast drew a line in the sand on automation, demanding that employers include them in developing a structure for automation, which increasingly threatens their jobs.

Overlaying all of these challenges are the growing vessel sizes, container exchanges and complexities involved in serving the carrier alliances.

As a new year approaches, the 2019 JOC Port Performance North America Conference will examine just how much has changed for the better since the beginning of this year, the outlook for 2020, and how shippers and other stakeholders are adjusting their networks to adopt in this era of trade and logistics disruption.

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