West Coast shipping lines and unions representing longshoremen and other port workers have reached an agreement on a six-year contract.
Federal Mediator Peter Hurtgen announced this week that the agreement was ratified by the International Longshoremen’s and Warehousemen’s Union. It provides pay raises to port workers, ushers in expanded use of high-tech freight-handling equipment, and will result in higher shipping rates in 2003.
Shipping lines represented by the Pacific Maritime Association plan to increase refrigerated container rates by $400 per containers beginning April 1. General shipping rates are expected to rise by about 25 percent.