Each day TFO Canada publishes a sample of trade news on the Canadian import market along with any new, updated or changed regulations and legislations regarding international trade; countries in which TFO Canada offers services and on the export sectors which it promotes.
Vancouver Curbs Trucker AccessWednesday, January 28, 2015 > 09:54:39
(IHS Maritime – Leo Quigley)
Canada's Port Metro Vancouver will significantly reduce the number of truckers allowed to enter its facility as the threat of new labour action escalates.
The port announced on 26 January that only 68 container trucking companies, representing 1,450 trucks, have been "conditionally approved" to enter port property after 1 February. This would leave around 600 truckers that were part of the fleet last year without access to port containers.
In a statement to drivers, the port said: "There is widespread agreement that there are too many trucking companies and drivers, which has resulted in undercutting and other problems. Port Metro Vancouver has reformed the Truck Licensing System in consultation with the provincial and federal government, drivers, companies, industry and stakeholders. This reform will mean more stable service to the port and a better living for those who participate.
"Unfortunately, this means not everyone who is currently licensed to access the port will be licensed going forward. We recognise this transition may be difficult. Port Metro Vancouver is offering a generous transition programme to eligible owner operators, provided there is no disruption that impacts container movements to the port."
The announced reduction has been met with anger by many drivers and comes on top of an existing threat by union and non-union truckers to strike as early as 30 January on claims that the port has failed to live up to a mediated settlement reached last year.
Representatives of Unifor, the Teamsters and the non-union United Truckers Association claim that the port hasn't been paying the rates for container movements between facilities outside of port terminals that were part of the deal that brought an end to a 28-day strike in 2014. That job action impacted an estimated $2.4Bn worth of containerised cargo and forced shippers to other ports on North America's Pacific Coast.