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Schnitzer Steel and Bed Bath & Beyond say the labor slowdown and resulting port congestion hurt business.
Bad shipper experience could result in long-term cargo diversion, according to port economist John Martin.
U.S. steel exports slipped to less than 900,000 net tons in February, after being above 1 million net tons last November.
A strike could come as soon as Monday, according to a statement from Teamster affiliate Justice for Port Truck Drivers.
Carriers should not be allowed to profit from congestion for which they are at least partially responsible, says agriculture group.
The 10-ship loop will call in South China, Vietnam, Colombo, New York, Savannah and Norfolk, and is designed to provide fast transit from Asia to New York.