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  March 2nd, 2016 | Written by

Washington State Lost $769.5 Million Due to the 2014-2015 West Coast Port Slowdown, Study Finds

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  • Washington State losses to due port slowdown do not include long term costs such as lost customers.
  • WCIT study analyzes impacts of port slowdown on multiple industries, including, retail, logistics, and manufacturing.
  • WCIT is an organization dedicated to protecting the jobs in Washington State tied to international trade.

One year after the devastating West Coast port dispute concluded, the Washington Council on International Trade has released a study that finds Washington state lost $769.5 million in economic activity during that approximately six month period.

An estimated $555.8 million worth of exports were not shipped via waterborne containers, while businesses spent an additional $152.6 million on airfreight shipments—resulting in a net loss of $403.2 million–and delayed delivery of imported goods through Washington state ports cost businesses $345.1 million.

These estimates do not include the long term costs of the slowdown, such as lost customers and permanently rerouted supply chains.

“The 2014-2015 port management-labor contract dispute was catastrophic for our trade-supported state,” explained Eric Schinfeld, president of WCIT. “We’re releasing this study on the one year anniversary of the conclusion of the negotiations to remind Washington residents and elected officials how disastrous this incident was for our economy. Our famers could not get their products to customers, resulting in well over $100 million of agricultural products being wasted. Our manufacturers could not fulfill orders and did not have access to core manufacturing components. During the holiday season, our retailers could not get their products to consumers. And our businesses racked up untold losses in terminated contracts and lost future sales. In fact, many small businesses still have not recovered and returned to their pre-slowdown levels of employment. We need to ensure that all parties are committed to working together to ensure that another slowdown doesn’t happen in four years.”

The study analyzes impacts of the slowdown across multiple industries, including agriculture and food processing, retail, logistics and transportation and manufacturing.

The Washington Council on International Trade is an organization dedicated to protecting and growing the 40 percent of jobs in the State of Washington tied to international trade by advocating for policies and investments that increase the state’s global competitiveness.