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Chamber of Shipping Statement on Strike Activity in the Port of Vancouver

VANCOUVER, BC,  – The current strike by the Canadian Merchant Service Guild has ceased the operations of Seaspan tugs and barges and is negatively impacting trade through the Port of Vancouver. This disruption is tarnishing Vancouver’s reputation as a home port for cruise lines and a primary gateway to Asian markets. It is increasing congestion at the Port of Vancouver and further straining supply chains at a time when Canadian goods, commodities, and energy are in high demand globally.

“We encourage the parties to urgently return to the bargaining table and find sustainable solutions,” stated Robert Lewis-Manning, the President of the Chamber of Shipping. “Canada’s supply chain cannot afford additional congestion that negatively impacts Canadian businesses and results in increased impacts to local coastal communities, especially from ships at anchor awaiting to load at terminals. This is why recent efforts by the Government of Canada to improve supply chain resilience and sustainability are integral and supported by the Chamber.”

Furthermore, the Chamber calls upon the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority to facilitate the safe transit, docking, servicing, and undocking of ships within its jurisdiction through authorities granted to it by the Canada Marine Act. Unexpected disruptions severely impact supply chain fluidity, creating significant uncertainty, and inefficient use of limited services vital to the safe operation of vessels.

The Port of Vancouver is Canada’s largest port handling the most diversified range of cargo in North America. As Canada’s gateway, its 29 major terminals handle over $275 billion in goods annually representing approximately $1 of every $3 of Canada’s trade in goods outside of North America. (Seaspan photo)