Protesters this week shut down operations at the Port of Oakland over a new trucking regulation that would limit independent operators. The protesters are not only blocking cargo, but port workers are also refusing to cross truckers’ picket lines.
A prolonged shutdown could have a dramatic impact on U.S. red meat exports and ag exports as a whole, U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) President and CEO Dan Halstrom explains in this USMEF report. Oakland is the third-busiest port on the West Coast and the largest outlet U.S. red meat exports.
Continued congestion and unreliability at the West Coast ports has already prompted a shift from chilled to more frozen product, which has a longer shelf life but doesn’t carry the premium value of chilled meat. If the Oakland shutdown continues, it could accelerate this trend.