Ports on the East and Gulf coasts may be headed for a possible shutdown at the end of September, as current longshore labor negotiations are a hot issue being closely followed by the shipping industry in the U.S. and globally.

The Journal of Commerce announced today that it will add a session to the agenda of its Inland Port Logistics Conference, Sept 5-6, in Oak Brook, IL, covering this volatile and unpredictable negotiation that impacts everyone from railroads to third-party logistics providers to beneficial cargo owners and cruise companies.

Responding to the recent breakdown in talks between the International Longshoremen's Association and United States Maritime Alliance, National Retail Federation President and CEO Matthew Shay said there's "a real risk of disruption." And ILA President Harold Daggett left little optimism for BCOs and other industry interests when he warned on Aug. 22, "It looks like we're going to have a strike."