The contract deadline was Dec. 29 on the agreement being negotiated by representatives from the International Longshoremen's Association (ILA) and the United States Maritime Alliance.
The main dispute issue involved "royalties" paid to port workers that are tied to container volume handled. That issue was agreed to and the rest of the master contract agreement will be worked on going forward, the sides said in an announcement this morning.
Retailers have pushed President Obama to intervene and cut off the strike.
For recovered paper, roughly 40% of the 21 million tons of recovered paper exported from the USA move from the ports on the East and Gulf coasts.