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Chamber of Shipping warns lengthy CN strike could spark ship diversions

VANCOUVER –  While it is encouraging that the parties continue to negotiate, the impacts of the current CN Rail disruption and the probability that it will extend into a second week is untenable, stated the Chamber of Shipping which represents shipping lines and their agents trading internationally and domestically. A lengthy disruption could potentially divert ships and cargo to US ports permanently and threaten newly created jobs on Canada’s West Coast, the Chamber warned.

The Chamber of Shipping called on the Government of Canada to acknowledge this exceptional situation and act accordingly to resolve this situation promptly.
“Canadian businesses rely on a predictable, efficient and productive supply chain to move products globally. This action is  harming the reputation of Canadian ports and the Canadian supply chain,” stated the Chamber’s President, Robert Lewis-Manning. “Even a resumption of service at this stage will take weeks to resolve and impacts the markets that Canadian shippers serve.”

Vancouver and Prince Rupert are strategic ports for the Pacific Gateway and among Canada’s busiest ports serving major Canadian industries including manufacturing, mining, energy, forestry, agriculture, and construction. This rail service disruption will add stressors to the operating environment surrounding the ports, as delays caused to cargo shipments and ships will force vessels to anchor in local waters.  Prince Rupert is the fastest growing port on the West Coast and highly dependent on CN Rail services, the Chamber noted. (photo PRPA)