The British Columbia Maritime Employers Association (BCMEA) announced that the container shipping ports of Vancouver and Prince Rupert in British Columbia, Canada, will reopen soon. A new labor deal has been reached. The ports closed 13 days ago.
The suggested deal would last for four years if both sides agreed to it. No one talked about what they knew. Before the deadlock at the port was called over, neither side had much time to think about what the government negotiator had to say.
The strike lasted almost two weeks. There were hardly any containerized train movements from Vancouver and Prince Rupert to the U.S. British Columbia ports returning won’t change the fact that U.S. goods through Canada will still face delays. CN, the Canadian railroad company, stated on a freight reporting site that it may take a few weeks to fix the problems.
Impact of the Vancouver and Prince Rupert Port Strike on Rail Transfers and U.S. Imports
According to data that monitors rail transfers of loaded international containers from Vancouver and Prince Rupert, volumes have dropped almost to nothing since the strike began.
The strike had a smaller impact on the U.S. compared to Canada. The Canadian ports are not crucial for U.S. goods.
On July 7, Jonathan Gold, the vice president for supply chain for the National Retail Federation, stated that the strike is not expected to have a significant impact here but could potentially affect certain U.S. retailers who receive their merchandise through Canada.
The ship-position data from MarineTraffic indicates that the number of container ships waiting at the Port of Vancouver on Thursday afternoon was similar to the number on Sunday.
A labor deal was reached in Canada, ending Pacific Coast labor turmoil. The International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) in Canada went on strike on July 1. The ILWU in the United States slowed port operations in August. Talks dragged on.
Resolution of Labor Unrest in U.S. Ports Eases Supply Chain Concerns
There were bigger problems with the supply chain during COVID. The labor unrest threatened to make things worse again. The danger is gone.
On June 14, the United States International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and port operators said they had made a temporary deal. Gene Seroka, the head of the Port of Los Angeles, talked about the upcoming approval of the U.S. port deal at a news gathering on Wednesday.
ILWU to Review Contract for U.S. West Coast Ports
Seroka stated that the ILWU will be moving forward with a democratic process that includes a delegate caucus representing all 29 West Coast ports in the United States later this month. The delegates will review the contract and decide if it should be presented for a vote among the rank and file. It has historically taken approximately three months from the moment a tentative agreement is reached until a complete membership ratification occurs.
Finally, now that the strike is over and the ports are back open, people in the shipping industry may be able to breathe a sigh of relief. For more than two weeks, there were no train shipments of containers from Prince Rupert or Vancouver to the United States. The flow of goods from Canada into the U.S. won’t go back to normal as soon as the ports in British Columbia open again. So, the end of the strike and reopening of the ports may still cause some problems in the short term, but it should be good for the shipping business in the long run. If you want to read more logistics and trucking industry related news daily, then check Lading Logistics.