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Labor and the Geographic Reorganization of Container Shipping in the U.S




The globalization of production and the geographic dispersion of economic activity have elevated the importance of the transportation and logistics sectors of the economy. One sector in particular that has experienced significant expansion is maritime transport and container shipping. As the cargo has become increasingly “discretionary” such that it can conceivably be transported through any port that allows intermodal access to the hinterland, the industry has become much more foot-loose vis‐à‐vis a particular port of entry. The enhanced mobility of the cargo results in more intense port competition. One particular place to observe and study this dynamic is in the port and terminal selection of shippers and shipping lines and the role of port authorities in attempting to attract these carriers to their facilities. In this paper, the focus is on the role of labor and labor relations in such decisions. These issues will be studied in the context of the potential container traffic rerouting from the West to the East Coast of the U.S. and, as an illustrative case study, how these developments have played out for the East Coast port of Jacksonville, Florida.

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  • David Jaffee, 2010. "Labor and the Geographic Reorganization of Container Shipping in the U.S," Growth and Change, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(4), pages 520-539, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:growch:v:41:y:2010:i:4:p:520-539

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