Air Charter Service gains $25m aircraft charters during US port strike

3 March 2015 (Last Updated March 3rd, 2015 18:30)

Air Charter Service's (ACS) North American and Asian offices have secured more than $25m of cargo aircraft charters in three weeks due to the port strike on the US West Coast.

Air Charter Service’s (ACS) North American and Asian offices have secured more than $25m of cargo aircraft charters in three weeks due to the port strike on the US West Coast.

ACS US operation president Richard Thompson said: "The port strikes here have affected 29 ports on the West Coast, which account for around 70% of all exports and imports to and from Asia, and many of these goods aren’t able to wait or production lines will be forced to shutdown, costing tens of millions of dollars."

The charter firm said it has arranged more than 40 large charter flights on aircraft so far, mainly Boeing 747 Freighters.

"Many of these goods aren’t able to wait or production lines will be forced to shutdown, costing tens of millions of dollars."

It is estimated that almost 5,000t of automotive parts, perishables and other urgent cargoes have been flown on widebody charter aircraft.

The labour dispute in the US West Coast began in July 2014 and has disrupted the flow of cargo through 29 ports and caused problems for trans-Pacific maritime trade with Asia.

According to Reuters, the West Coast ports handle almost half of all US maritime trade and more than 70% of the country’s Asian imports.

The disagreement reached a settlement point last month after a group of shipping companies and a dockworkers union agreed on a tentative labour deal after nine months of negotiations, the news agency reported.

Recently, Maritime Union of New Zealand (MUNZ) settled a four-year industrial dispute with its employer, Ports of Auckland Limited (POAL), over the new collective employment agreement.