Federal mediators hope to avoid a walkout by thousands of East and Gulf Coast dockworkers including those at the port of Savannah.
A strike could have a ripple effect on Georgia businesses.
The director of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service Monday called a meeting of the International Longshoremen's Association and the U.S. Maritime Alliance and the parties agreed to attend.
Issues include wages and container royalties, or payments to union workers based on cargo weight.
Talks between the dockworkers and the shipping companies broke down last week.
The dockworkers contract extension expires December 29.
Contributors: Pat Marcus