Lingering Impact of Canadian Port Strikes
(12 July 2023 – Canada) As strikes at ports across the Canadian west coast stretch into their second week there are clear signs of critical backlogs forming.
Up to 7,500 port workers went on strike on 1 July seeking higher wages. 15 percent of US trade arrives into the Port of Vancouver and 60 percent of all rail out of the Port of Prince Rupert is destined for the US. With the strike lasting 13 days it is estimated rail congestion alone could last between a month to two months.
“Many of our members are rebooking through US West Coast ports with the likelihood of an extra 10-14 days of ground transit time because of the redirect. Some member company products have been on the water since June 30, and other arrivals earlier this month are now not being slated to be unloaded until early to mid-August at the earliest” commented National Association of Chemical Distributors CEO, Eric Byer.
“It is too early for us to say how long it may take to fully recover from the disruptions. Our focus right now is on working with government agencies and industry partners, including shipping and rail companies, as well as marine terminals to implement recovery plans and restore full port operations and fluidity” a spokesperson for Port of Vancouver/VancouverFraser Port Authority said.