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Shipping Resumes At West Coast Ports After Occupy Protests; Officials Cite Likely Millions In Losses

via Beth Duff-Brown and Nigel Duara, AP, The Washington Post

West Coast ports tried to get back to business as usual Tuesday as they tallied their losses after anti-Wall Street protests that blocked trucks and curbed business along busy waterfronts.

Long lines of trucks waited outside port gates and some workers reported early to clear the cargo backlog left after thousands of Occupy demonstrators forced shipping terminals in Oakland, Calif., Portland, Ore., and Longview, Wash., to halt parts of their operations Monday.

Disruptions caused by protesters likely cost businesses, workers and the surrounding community millions of dollars, said Port of Oakland spokesman Isaac Kos-Read.

Though the port did not provide a breakdown of specific losses caused by the blockades, Kos-Read said officials estimate the port typically generates about $8.5 million per day in business revenue, wages, taxes and other economic activity.

“It’s the ripple effect,” he said.

Protesters in Oakland began blocking port entrances early Monday morning, leading to a major slowdown of operations when most longshoremen were sent home from the morning shift. Protests in the afternoon and through the night led to the cancellation of two more shifts.

The longshoremen’s union said the blockades resulted in about 500 canceled shifts but that the work will have to be made up to handle the backlogged cargo.

Normal operations at the port resumed Tuesday morning, Oakland port officials said.

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