Employers "hopeful that this will allow us to move toward conclusion of an agreement in the near term."
Despite presence of federal mediator 'no further agreements have been reached.'
December ISM survey shows slower growth caused in part by supply disruptions at ports.
Port director's tenure has seen projects to deepen harbor, raise Bayonne Bridge, expand marine terminals and intermodal rail.
Hueneme CEO says port could offer relief valve for congestion.
Consensus shows better growth than other parts of world.