WRAPUP 2-Asian supply lines hit by U.S. West Coast ports dispute

Mon Feb 16, 2015 1:49pm EST
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* Dozens of ships lining up to dock due to ports dispute

* Honda slowing North American car production as parts held up

* Freight rates rise as container ships caught in backlog

* Some shipping freight moving to East Coast alternatives

* U.S. labor secretary to intervene in talks on Tuesday

By Noel Randewich and Chang-Ran Kim

SAN FRANCISCO/TOKYO, Feb 16 (Reuters) - A labor dispute at ports on the U.S. West Coast is disrupting supply chains across the Pacific, forcing some Asian exporters to resort to costly air freight and pushing up shipping rates as more freighters are caught up in long lines to dock.

With ports near gridlock and cargo delays being felt throughout the U.S. commercial supply chain, U.S. Labor Secretary Tom Perez plans to travel to San Francisco on Tuesday to help broker an agreement on a new contract between dockworkers and the group representing shippers and terminal operators.

Contract talks between the two sides have dragged on for nine months, leading to labor tensions, chronic cargo congestion and shipping delays at ports along the coast that collectively handle nearly half of all U.S. maritime trade and more than 70 percent of imports from Asia.   Continued...