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Talks between US west coast dockworkers union and terminal employers association on a new master contract have been put on hold this week, but despite the fact that the existing contract has expired there are few signs that the talks themselves have descended into the acrimony that surrounded the last round of negotiations and led to a 10-day lock-out that threw US container supply chains into chaos. That notwithstanding, shippers have chosen to get as much through the ports in anticipation of any potential blockages and extra costs.

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