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Delayed glass deliveries stall SF high rise projects

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Glass orders from China are delayed at West Coast ports due to a contract dispute and that is having a ripple effect on San Francisco high-rise construction.

Some of those high-rises going up in downtown San Francisco have been experiencing delays. It seems the glass they've ordered from abroad has been stuck along the ports up and down the West Coast. These delays could end up costing construction companies millions of dollars.

Who knew a labor dispute at the ports would have an impact on the construction of a few high rises in downtown San Francisco.

Take 399 Fremont. On Wednesday, Swinerton Builders worked on finally installing their glass systems after weeks of waiting for them to arrive from China.

The dispute over a new contract for dockworkers caused serious delays. The worse months were January and February when on average 20 ships were waiting to berth at the Port of Oakland. Now that an agreement has been reached, things are slowly improving.

But the backlog is still bad in Southern California.

"The problem is in Southern California. There is still significant congestion there. This morning there were 25 ships in San Pedro Bay awaiting berth at the port of Los Angeles and Long Beach," said Michael Zampa, Director of Communications for the Port of Oakland.

That affects the Port of Oakland because most of those ships then stop here.

"We're hoping to be at normal at the port within 4-6 weeks. We're getting there, productivity has increase significantly, the wait time for truck drivers is improving," said Zampa.

Another building, 299 Fremont hasn't installed a single window. These construction companies buy the glass from Chinese companies at a significant discount. But now without the glass that wraps their buildings, much of the inside work can't continue and is resulting in costly delays.

Related Topics:
businessunionslabor unionscalifornianegotiationsemploymentsan francisco baychinau.s. & worldOaklandPort of OaklandSan Francisco
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