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Canada West Coast Port Strike Updates

Updated: Jul 20, 2023



July 20 Updates:

BCMEA:

July 19, 5:00 pm PT: "The BCMEA has been made aware that ILWU Canada communicated, effective immediately, that the 72-hour strike notice issued earlier today for July 22 at 09:00 has now been removed. The past 24 hours have demonstrated that this continues to be a fluid and unpredictable situation." July 19, 10:56 am PT: "ILWU Canada doubles down, serves second 72-hour strike notice. There is a fair and balanced deal on the table that was presented by a third-party mediator, that is reflective of both the employer and the union’s positions over five months of negotiations and mediation. This deal would allow ILWU workers to receive a compounded 19.2% wage increase over four years, which would result in the median ILWU income moving from $136,000 to $162,000, not including benefits and pension. The proposed wage increase is well and above industry average standards and yet, ILWU Leadership deemed it not enough. The proposed deal also provides an 18.5% increase in their M&M retirement lump sum payment in addition to their enhanced pension, increased tool allowances and benefits contributions." Read more.

Government of Canada: In a joint statement before the strike notice was rescinded, the Honourable Seamus O’Regan Jr., Minister of Labour, and the Honourable Omar Alghabra, Minister of Transport, said:

“Last week, after 13 days of work stoppage, Minister O’Regan asked federal mediators to provide recommendations on the terms of a settlement between the BCMEA and the ILWU Canada. Both parties tentatively agreed to this settlement to bring an end to the strike. Today, we received formal notice from the BCMEA that their membership had accepted this deal in full. However, we were also informed that, despite initially agreeing to recommend the Terms of Settlement, the ILWU Canada’s leadership had decided not to recommend ratification of the terms to their members. Workers and employers across Canada cannot face further disruption on the scale we saw last week. Therefore, we are looking at all options. We will have more to say on this tomorrow. We should not be here. The deal presented to the parties was the result of a constructive and substantive collective bargaining process. It represented a fair and balanced deal. It was informed by weeks of collective bargaining and drafted by third-party mediators in the interest of both the union and the employer. We have been patient. We have respected the collective bargaining process. But we need our ports operating.”

Port of Vancouver (before strike notice was rescinded): ILWU Canada served a 72-hour strike notice to the BCMEA on July 19. The notice enables legal strike action to commence effective 0900 PT on Saturday, July 22. The Canadian Industrial Relations Board declared that an unlawful strike occurred on July 18 and issued an order noting that 72-hour strike notice was required for strike activity to recommence. ILWU labour was expected to return to work on Wednesday afternoon. As of July 19, seven container vessels are at berth, one is at anchor, and 11 are awaiting entry into the port’s jurisdiction.

CPKC: CPKC confirms there are currently no embargos on traffic destined to the Port of Vancouver. CPKC continues normal rail operations at the port. Customers are advised to monitor Customer Bulletin updates for any changes to the embargo situation. For up-to-date information on specific impacts to your shipments or other problem-resolution inquiries, contact Customer Service at 1-888-333-8111. You can also reach Customer Service through the Log an Issue tool on Customer Station or via email, at customer_service@cpkcr.com.

July 19 Updates:

BCMEA: ILWU Canada’s internal caucus leadership rejected the tentative agreement, before it was taken to a vote of the full union membership. The union communicated that it would re-engage in strike activity on Tuesday afternoon. "On July 13, after 13 days of disruption to Canada’s West Coast ports through ILWU’s strike action, the BCMEA and ILWU reached a tentative deal. This was accomplished through a proposed settlement provided by the senior federal mediator, pursuant to the Minister of Labour’s request under subsection 105 (2) of the Canada Labour Code. Both the BCMEA and ILWU recommended ratification of the tentative settlement to their respective memberships. The BCMEA ratified the agreement on July 13. This fair and comprehensive package could not satisfy some of ILWU internal caucus leadership and, in rejecting this tentative agreement, ILWU leadership is choosing to further harm Canada’s economy, international reputation and most importantly, to Canadians, their livelihoods and all those that rely on a stable supply chain." Read more.

CN: CN will immediately commence a wind down of international intermodal services to ports in British Columbia and will be prepared to resume services expeditiously as soon as the work stoppage ends. It expected on Tuesday to begin notifying impacted customers "shortly." CN will continue to add additional capacity to East Coast ports where applicable for any traffic that can be redirected to keep trade and the economy moving. CN’s domestic intermodal service will continue to run as per plan and its international intermodal service to ports outside British Columbia remains unaffected at this time. For carload service, CN must recommence staging bulk trains at origin and immediately restore embargoes for shipments moving towards British Columbia.

CPKC: An embargo for shipments routing to the below locations is again in place. The embargo applies to all shipments originating in Canada, the U.S. and Mexico that are billed to the following:

  • Neptune Bulk Terminals Canada

  • Neptune Bulk Terminals Ltd

  • Neptune Terminals

  • Pacific Coast Terminals

  • Global Agriculture

  • Columbia Containers

  • GCT Canada

The embargo is a temporary measure pending an agreement between the ILWU and the British Columbia Maritime Employers Association (BCMEA) and can be rescinded at any time. During the embargo period, CPKC's network will remain open to accept permits in order to accommodate rail traffic as capacity allows. International Intermodal customers should continue to monitor FastPass notifications for updates on local container acceptance conditions. There is no impact to Domestic Intermodal customers.

Port of Vancouver: Centerm, Deltaport, Fraser Surrey and Vanterm container terminals are impacted by labour action. As of July 18, seven container vessels are at berth and nine are awaiting entry into the port’s jurisdiction. For the Container Vessel Line-Up Report that includes vessels at anchor and dwelling outside of port authority jurisdiction, see the port dashboard.

July 18 Updates:

Port of Vancouver Update

The port authority is implementing a recovery plan in coordination with industry partners, including shipping lines, rail companies and marine terminals. Recovery measures include close collaboration and monitoring to ensure port resources are assigned to best support time-sensitive cargo movement and ensure equitable distribution of shared resources.

Marine operations: A priority-based anchorage allocation system is in place to balance the needs of all business sectors and commodities to restore full port operations and fluidity.

Port of Vancouver anchorage occupation (July 17, 0600 am PT):

  • Vancouver Fraser Port Authority (English Bay, inner habour, Indian Arm): 56%

  • Southern Gulf Islands: 50%

Container vessels

Four container vessels at berth, two at anchor and 10 awaiting entry into the port’s jurisdiction.

To view the container vessel lineup report that includes vessels at anchor and dwelling outside of port authority waters, visit the port dashboard.

Rail operations: CN and CPKC resumed rail operations impacted by labour action at the port. Both railways have removed embargos on cargo destined to the Port of Vancouver. Contact your railway directly for specific details regarding embargoed cargo, empties and destinations.

Port of Vancouver rail production:

  • Container terminal rail production (updated reporting):

    • Jul 15 = 43,266 ft

    • Jul 16 = 60,467 ft

    • Jul 17 = 60,788 ft

  • Container import on-dock footage: 258,549 ft

Truck operations: Trucks are operating under normal conditions at all four container terminals.

Port of Vancouver truck activity:

Container truck reservations: 2,088

July 14-17 Updates:

CN: As of July 14, CN's plan to resume service to/from the West Coast ports is to:

  • Prioritize all staged trains on CN’s network into the ports in Vancouver and Prince Rupert.

  • Resume loading traffic on ground at CN terminals to the ports in British Columbia.

  • Resume accepting export loads and empty containers in Toronto, Montreal and Memphis.

  • Monitor ground count levels at terminals in Chicago, Detroit, Calgary, Edmonton and Winnipeg, and prioritize train departures from those terminals to free up space and resume acceptance of containers.

  • Work with port partners in Vancouver and Prince Rupert on planning outbound train departures.

Customers will be notified individually on their allocated capacity.

CPKC: CPKC has resumed rail operations at the Port of Vancouver. Its embargo on shipments was cancelled effective Saturday, July 15. International export-loaded containers are being accepted at CPKC terminals. International Intermodal customers should continue to monitor FastPass notifications for updates on local empty-container acceptance conditions. There continues to be no impact to Domestic Intermodal service.

CBSA: As a result of delays related to the port strike, CBSA expects an influx of vessels looking to off-load marine containers at ports that can accommodate them without delay. It is imperative that trade chain partners communicate effectively within the trade community to ensure accurate and timely submission of cargo reports and amendments. This will prevent further delays and allow for the movement of cargo throughout the process. In an attempt to minimize trade chain disruptions, the CBSA advises the following:

  • Marine carriers, as an interim measure, do not transmit the conveyance arrival certification message (CACM) until such time that the marine carrier has received confirmation that the vessel will be berthing and discharging, as scheduled.

  • Ensure that all advanced commercial information (ACI) cargo control documents, electronic house bills, house bill closed messages and EDI release requests are on file accurately, ensuring that any port codes or sublocation codes are revised, as required.

  • Ensure that all stakeholders communicate any conveyance and cargo revisions in a timely manner, keeping all trade chain partners apprised prior to the conveyance arrival.

  • The freight forwarder industry ensures that they have received release messaging, in addition to a deconsolidation notice, when release is expected.

Marine cargo reporting requirements are outlined in Memorandum D3-5-1 Marine Pre-load/Pre-arrival and Reporting Requirements. Freight forwarder electronic house bill requirements are outlined in Memorandum D3-3-1: Freight forwarder pre-arrival and reporting requirements.

The British Columbia port strike might be over, but it's expected to take weeks – even months – for supply chains and affected businesses to recover, according to experts. The Railway Association of Canada estimates it could take three to five days for supply chains to recover for each single day the port was shuttered. Following a 13-day shutdown, that's at least 5-1/2 weeks. Some industry experts say it could take even longer.

July 13, 2023 Updates:

ILWU Canadian longshoreman will be back on the job at 4:30 PM Pacific

Time today July 13, 2023

A tentative agreement has been reached between the BCMEA and ILWU Canada, with operations to resume as soon as possible. The British Columbia Maritime Employers Association (BCMEA) and International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Canada officially advised that the parties have reached a tentative agreement on a new four-year deal “that recognizes the skills and efforts of B.C.’s waterfront workforce.”

The tentative agreement is subject to ratification by both parties and, consequently, details of the agreement have not been released.


Port of Vancouver Operations Update – July 13

Currently, there are four container vessels at anchor and 10 awaiting entry into the port’s jurisdiction. To view the Container Vessel Line-Up Report that includes vessels at anchor and dwelling outside of port authority waters, visit the port dashboard.

The port authority is now implementing a recovery plan in coordination with industry partners including shipping lines, rail companies and marine terminals. The plan will apply a priority-based anchorage allocation system to balance the needs of all business sectors and commodities to restore full port operations and fluidity. Recovery measures include close collaboration and monitoring to ensure port resources are assigned to best support time-sensitive cargo movement and ensure equitable distribution of shared resources.

CPKC Customer Advisory: Update Related to BCMEA-ILWU Tentative Agreement

The embargo for shipments routing to the below locations will remain in place for a further 24 to 48 hours. The embargo applies to all shipments originating in Canada, the U.S. and Mexico and billed to the following:

  • Neptune Bulk Terminals Canada

  • Neptune Bulk Terminals LTD

  • Neptune Terminals

  • Pacific Coast Terminals

  • Global Agriculture

  • Columbia Containers

  • GCT Canada

International Intermodal customers should continue to monitor FastPass notifications for updates on local container acceptance conditions. There continues to be no impact to Domestic Intermodal customers. For up-to-date information on specific impacts to your shipments or other problem-resolution inquiries, contact Customer Service at 1-888-333-8111, customer_service@cpkcr.com or through the Log an Issue tool on Customer Station.


July 12, 2023 Updates:

BCMEA: Labour Minister O’Regan has given the senior federal mediator 24 hours to provide him with his recommendations for the settlement of this dispute. Once received, the Minister will share the mediator's recommendations with both Parties, in which the Parties will have 24 hours to review and communicate their willingness to recommend the terms for ratification to their respective Members.

CPKC: An embargo for shipments routing to the below locations remains in effect. This embargo applies to all shipments originating in Canada, the U.S. and Mexico that are billed to the following:

  • Neptune Bulk Terminals Canada

  • Neptune Bulk Terminals Ltd

  • Neptune Terminals

  • Pacific Coast Terminals

  • West Coast Reduction

  • Global Agriculture

  • Columbia Containers

  • GCT Canada

  • WTC Group

The embargo is a temporary measure pending an agreement between the ILWU and the BCMEA and can be rescinded at any time. During the embargo period, CPKC's network will remain open to accept permits in order to accommodate rail traffic as capacity allows.

International Intermodal customers should continue to monitor FastPass notifications for updates on local container acceptance conditions. There is no impact to CPKC's Domestic Intermodal customers.

Welland Canal Ship Traffic Resumes after Power Outage

Two-way marine traffic resumed Monday night on the Welland Canal section of the St. Lawrence Seaway after a power outage led to a temporary suspension of navigation.

After restoring service to Lock 1 on Monday afternoon, the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation (SLSMC) maintenance personnel and contractors worked diligently to minimize delays to shipping and reopen Lock 7 by 22:30 on July 10.

Transits through Lock 1 will proceed with hands-free mooring. Transits through Lock 7 will be temporarily supported by line-handlers until such time as the damaged hands-free-mooring units can be repaired.


July 11, 2023 Updates:

The Maritime Executive: "ILWU Dockers' Union, BC Port Employers Resume Talks" Dockworkers and port employers in British Columbia resumed talks on Saturday after a brief hiatus, assisted by federal mediators. The strike by members of ILWU Canada continues unabated after eight days, and the economic losses are stacking up quickly. An estimated $12 billion worth of goods are waiting off Vancouver and Prince Rupert because of the disruption, according to CNBC.

Ocean carriers are closely watching developments in the 10-day Canadian west coast port strike before finalizing network changes, although some service alterations have begun. According to July 10 eeSea data, four container vessels bound for Vancouver have changed their proforma port rotations to call at Seattle first, before returning to Vancouver later: the OOCL San Francisco; CMA CGM Medea; Yantian and Hyundai Faith. Additionally there are two confirmed omissions of Canadian ports by vessels that will now call only at the U.S. west coast: the MSC Sara Elena; and Ever Safety.

CNBC: "U.S. Apparel Trade Group Calls to Recall Canadian Parliament as Ports Strike Enters 10th Day" As a workers' strike at West Coast Canadian ports enters its 10th day, trade associations both in the U.S. and Canada are warning the effect will inflate prices and cause weeks of delays in product arrivals. "It's hard to imagine a more disruptive event to Canada's economy at this time than a work stoppage in our ports, which will delay imports and exports at significant costs to consumers," said Bruce Rodgers, executive director of the Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association, in a letter last month addressed to Canadian Minister of Labour Seamus O'Regan.

CPKC: All Canadian ramps are closed to all Port of Vancouver traffic and non-billed empties. Bensenville, Schiller and Minneapolis gates remain open at this time, subject to change without prior notice.

July 10, 2023 Updates:


BCMEA: On Saturday, BCMEA tabled a revised proposal to try to resolve the skilled trades shortages and address ILWU Canada’s demand to expand their jurisdiction over regular maintenance work on the terminals. The proposal opens the door for ILWU Canada to perform new work outside of the union’s jurisdiction. Read BCMEA's update.

Port of Vancouver: Nine of 29 marine cargo terminals are currently impacted by labour action. ILWU Canada members are picketing various cargo and container handling sites. Centerm, Deltaport, Fraser Surrey and Vanterm container terminals are currently impacted. See the port's Container Vessel Line-Up Report, which includes vessels at anchor and dwelling outside of port authority jurisdiction, on the port dashboard.

CBSA: Due to the ILWU strike at Canada's West Coast ports, the CBSA is advising marine carriers, as an interim measure to the ILWU strike, not to transmit the conveyance arrival certification message (CACM) until the marine carrier is certain the vessel will be coming into port, berthing and confirmed as discharging.

CN: CN is working to mitigate service disruptions to Canada’s West Coast port supply chains, as well as the likelihood of related impacts across its network, by taking the following steps:

  • Embargoes are in effect for carload traffic destined to the impacted ports.

  • International services to B.C. ports are closed.

  • Export capacity from CN's inland terminals has been added to the Ports of Montreal, Halifax and Saint John. CN will work with customers that require transload services for exports at those locations.

CPKC: CPKC's Winnipeg terminal will not accept export loads and prebilled empties destined to the Port of Vancouver – Vanterm, Centerm, Delta Port and Fraser Surrey Dock – and non-billed empties. The following private container yard can be used for drops:

  • HAPAG: Trealship, 135 Saunders Street, Winnipeg, MB R5R 0E4, Monday to Friday 08:00-17:00. Accepts 40DH and 40DS. No bad orders.

CNBC: US WESTCOAST Port union announced they won't work diverted vessels containers to the US, amid Canada port strikes : ILWU says won't work diverted containerships amid Canada strikes (cnbc.com)


OOCL Canada Customer Service:

As you may be aware, all operations at marine terminals in Vancouver, BC and Prince Rupert, BC ceased effective Saturday, July 1, 2023, due to ILWU (Canada) work action.

Negotiations between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Canada and the British Columbia Maritime Employers Association (BCMEA) remain paused, with significant impact to all operations and significant vessel schedule disruptions.


Until this situation is resolved and normal operations resume, we do not have a revised arrival date for when your cargo will be able to be discharged from the loaded vessel. OOCL continues to closely monitor the situation and you will receive a revised arrival notice when the vessel port arrival date becomes available.

For updates regarding the negotiations and port specific details, please refer to:


July 6, 2023 Updates:

B.C. Ports Strike Could Inflict Damage That Takes Months to Correct, Warns CN

CN says the ongoing workers’ strike at ports in British Columbia could increase costs and inflict economic damage that could take months to correct.

“A labour disruption can create significant impacts on shippers’ decisions to use Canada’s ports,” spokesperson Jonathan Abecassis said in a statement. “Given the integrated nature of ports and rail corridors, a work stoppage can create disruptions that take weeks or even months to correct.”

He urged the parties to come to an agreement and added that CN Rail encourages the federal government to “remain engaged and prepared to act to end the labour disruption.”

Read more in an article from Postmedia (Strathroy Age Dispatch).

Port of Vancouver Notice to Industry: Vessel Slow-Down and Near-Time Arrivals Requested to Support Port Fluidity

Because of congestion caused by the ILWU strike, the Port of Vancouver has changed its anchorage assignment protocols to prioritize the terminals that are still operational. As this is not expected to be enough to prevent further congestion and delays, carriers are asked to slow down vessels and adopt a near-time arrival process, which is expected to assist the port community to:

  • Reduce the demand on anchorages

  • Reduce port congestion and delays

  • Minimize environmental and community impacts

  • Support port recovery and resilience after the disruption

Port of Vancouver Strike: A Preview for Montreal?

Translated from French

While eyes are on the strike that is paralyzing the Port of Vancouver, the countdown could be started in Montreal. The longshoremen's collective agreement expires at the end of the year and the contentious points at the heart of the latest labour dispute – which ended with special legislation – remain unresolved.

In Montreal, the terms of the employment contract of the 1,100 employees who load and unload the goods in the terminals were determined by arbitrator André G. Lavoie. Appointed in May 2021 after the Trudeau government passed special legislation to end the walkout, he ruled on elements such as salary increases and the duration of the agreement.

However, he opted for the status quo with respect to more sensitive elements by sending a message to the FTQ-affiliated Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) and the Maritime Employers Association (MEA). Issues such as scheduling and job security – at the heart of the impasse – needed to be resolved in a negotiated manner, Lavoie wrote.

Read more in an article from La Presse.

CME Calls for Immediate End to Strike and Legislative Reforms to Discourage Future Disruptions

Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) is calling on all parties to negotiate an immediate end to the strike at the Port of Vancouver and other ports in British Columbia.

It is also asking the federal government to work with industry on legislative reforms that will discourage future disruptions to Canada’s critical trade infrastructure. Designating ports, rail lines and all other transportation infrastructure as essential, and limiting when and where labour and other disruptions can occur, will engender the stability manufacturers need.

“If we do not seriously address the root problems of Canada’s transportation network disruptions, and eliminate the incentives to time and game labour disruptions to inflict maximum economic pain, then it will just continue to be Groundhog Day – where every six months a disruption occurs, and manufacturers and Canadians are left to pay the economic costs,” added Darby.

Read more in a press release from CME.

Ransomware Attack Hits Japan’s Biggest Port, Delaying Cargo

Japan’s biggest maritime port was crippled by an alleged Russian cyberattack, disrupting cargo as operators rushed to prevent a wider delay in shipments.

Ransomware caused a container terminal at the Port of Nagoya in Aichi Prefecture to suffer an outage Tuesday morning, the Nagoya Harbor Transportation Authority said Wednesday. The authority said operations are expected to resume Thursday at 8:30 am local time.

Swedish Dockworkers Strike

Members of the dockworkers union are set to strike from today to Tuesday, July 11 at both the Gothenburg ro-ro port and the Port of Helsingborg. In addition to this, Sweden's port of Halland will put a freeze on any new hires, overtime and new contract workers.


July 5, 2023 Updates:

On the third day of the port workers' strike in British Columbia, retail associations and mayors alike are issuing warnings about the likely impact across the country – and even the continent. The strike affects about 7,400 terminal cargo loaders and 49 of the province's waterfront employers at more than 30 B.C. ports, including Canada's busiest, Vancouver.

ILWU Canada: ILWU Canada issued a press release on July 3. The union "implore[s] the BCMEA to get back to the table to achieve a fair and reasonable agreement that the parties negotiate together. It is unrealistic to think that a collective agreement that is imposed will result in long-term labour stability in the industry. The Parties need to put their best effort forward for the entire country and not just their individual aims. We hope that the Association is not hiding behind the threat of back-to-work legislation and binding arbitration to avoid engaging in bargaining with the Union."

BCMEA: The BCMEA "was hopeful [Monday's] pause would act as a reset in negotiations," it said in a press release, noting that it remains ready to re-engage at a moment’s notice. The association said its continued preference is to negotiate a deal with ILWU Canada, but that voluntary mediation-arbitration remains an option.

CN: Because the parties have stalled negotiations until further notice, CN’s international services to British Columbia ports are currently closed. CN is adding additional export capacity from its inland terminals to the ports of Montreal, Halifax and Saint John, and will work with customers that require transload services for exports at those locations.

GCT Vanterm and GCT Deltaport: Truck gates at GCT Vanterm and GCT Deltaport will remain closed during ongoing negotiations between the BC Maritime Employers Association and ILWU Canada. Once a deal has been reached, the terminals will reopen the appointment system for reservations to facilitate catchup and resumption to normal operations. Terminal gate efficiency fees for the cancelled reservations due to this closure will be waived.


CP RAIL :

Due to the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) strike in Vancouver, effective 00:01 Thursday July 6, 2023 CPKC Edmonton Terminal will not accept the following:

  • Pre-Billed empties destined to Port of Vancouver - Vanterm, Centerm, Delta Port & Fraser Surrey Dock

  • Non-Billed marine empties

CPKC will continue to provide updates should conditions change with regards to gate restriction impacts.


Due to the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) strike in Vancouver, effective 00:01 Thursday July 6, 2023 CPKC Lachine Terminal will not accept the following:

  • Pre-Billed empties destined to Port of Vancouver - Vanterm, Centerm, Delta Port & Fraser Surrey Dock

  • Non-Billed marine empties

CPKC will continue to provide updates should conditions change with regards to gate restriction impacts.


ZIM CANADA Similar to other shipping lines made below announcement today:

IMPORT :

  • All LOCAL CARGO currently on WEST COAST terminal / on dock will have all DEMURRAGE charges ON HOLD from July 1st to when services resume (such end date to be confirmed by ZIM when Labor returns to work)

  • All cargo currently loaded on CN Rail will be subject to NORMAL demurrage / detention / LFD charges per normal processes

  • All local VAN import cargo that has previously been drayed off terminal will be subject to Normal detention as per normal process as units to be returned to CY yard

EXPORT :

  • As CN and all BC terminals have suspended gate-in services, all releases will remain on hold until we are advised that services have resumed.


July 4, 2023 Updates:

CIFFA: CIFFA has written to Canada's Minister of Labour Seamus O’Regan to urge him "to prepare back-to-work legislation as quickly as possible to ensure no further damage to our battered supply chains." Read the full letter.

BC Maritime Employers Association:

  • July 1 – "Over the course of the past couple of days, the BCMEA has continued to advance proposals and positions in good faith, with the objective of achieving a fair deal at the table. Our Bargaining Committee has made repeated efforts to be flexible and find compromise on key priorities, but regrettably, the Parties have yet to be successful in reaching a settlement."

  • July 3 – "Rather than work towards an equitable deal, ILWU Canada seems to have entrenched their positions. The BCMEA has gone as far as possible on core issues. ILWU Canada is attempting to aggressively expand their scope and re-define Regular Maintenance Work far beyond what is set out in the industry-wide agreement, which has been legally well established for decades. Changing this definition would result in immediate and significant impacts to terminal operations. Under the current collective agreement, the ILWU exclusively supplies the labour force; however, it has been consistently unable to fulfill the trades work they have jurisdiction over. Further, ILWU Canada’s proposals for compensation are unreasonable, and well outside the established norm of union settlements in Canada. BCMEA employer members are proud to provide well-paying family-supporting jobs for B.C. longshore workers. For context, in 2022, the median salary of an ILWU Union longshore worker in B.C. was $136,000 per year, plus benefits and pension. Over the course of the past 13 years, longshore wages have risen by 40%, ahead of inflation at 30%. ILWU Canada member wages have increased by approximately 10% in the past three years since the COVID-19 pandemic began. ILWU Canada went on strike over demands that were and continue to be outside any reasonable framework for settlement. Given the foregoing mentioned, the BCMEA is of the view that a continuation of bargaining at this time is not going to produce a collective agreement. ILWU Canada needs to decide if they are going to continue this strike with no hope of settlement, or significantly modify their position so a fair and balanced deal can be reached."

Port of Vancouver: July 2 – Meetings between ILWU Canada and BCMEA continue with the support of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service. A tentative agreement has not been reached at this time. ILWU Canada and its members have begun strike action at various sites. The port authority is taking proactive measures to manage vessel arrivals and anchorage assignments to maintain port fluidity, ensure the safe movement of vessels and manage anchorage capacity for terminals not affected by strike activity. The following operational procedures are in place during labour action:

  • Inner Harbour: Maximum stay of 48 hours will be strictly enforced, and assignment will be limited to bunkering, fumigation, staging area or emergency situations.

  • English Bay and Indian Arm: The maximum stay limit of 7 days will be lifted. All anchorages will be reserved to support operations at terminals not affected by strike activity, partly loaded vessels that are delayed due to labour action, and larger vessels that can only be accommodated in English Bay.

  • Southern Gulf Islands: These anchorages will be assigned per the interim protocol for waiting vessels; a balanced use of these anchorages across the South Coast BC region and commodity sectors will be ensured.

Vessels in port can be viewed on the home page of the PortVan eHub app by selecting “Vessels in Port” via the port authority’s mobile app.

Rail operations: Contact your railway directly for information regarding embargoed destinations. CPKC trains to embargoed destinations continue to move west under permit.

CN: CN is reviewing capacity allocation (loads and empty) for its international services to the ports in British Columbia. Customers will be notified individually on the capacity that was provided and requirements to be removed or reduced.

CPKC: An embargo for shipments routing to the below locations is now in place. This embargo applies to all shipments originating in Canada, the U.S. and Mexico that are billed to the following:

  • Neptune Bulk Terminals Canada

  • Neptune Bulk Terminals Ltd

  • Neptune Terminals

  • Pacific Coast Terminals

  • West Coast Reduction

  • Global Agriculture

  • Columbia Containers

  • GCT Canada

  • WTC Group

The embargo is a temporary measure pending an agreement between the ILWU and the British Columbia Maritime Employers Association (BCMEA) and can be rescinded at any time. During the embargo period, CPKC's network will remain open to accept permits in order to accommodate rail traffic as capacity allows.

GCT Vanterm and Deltaport: Day shift (08:00-15:59) and afternoon shift (17:00-23:59) truck gates are closed today due to ongoing negotiations. Terminal gate efficiency fees (TGEF) for cancelled reservations on these and other shifts will be waived.


Credit: CIFFA, Canadian International Freight Forwarder's Association

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