UTA strike may disrupt operations at Port Metro Vancouver

26 February 2014 (Last Updated February 26th, 2014 18:30)

Inchcape Shipping Services (ISS) has issued a warning that a 48hr truck drivers strike has started on 26 February, by the United Truckers Association (UTA) and is expected to cause severe disruptions to trucking and drayage operations at Port Metro Vancouver, Canada.

Inchcape Shipping Services (ISS) has issued a warning that a 48hr truck drivers strike has started on 26 February, by the United Truckers Association (UTA) and is expected to cause severe disruptions to trucking and drayage operations at Port Metro Vancouver, Canada.

Despite the industrial action by UTA, Port Metro Vancouver said it will be business as usual at the port.

According to the UTA, drivers are unsatisfied with the compensation they receive from trucking companies, as much time is spent waiting to load and unload cargo.

"It is in the best interests of all stakeholders to maximise the efficiency of the port."

Port Metro Vancouver planning and operations vice-president Peter Xotta said that, although they cannot intervene in the commercial relationship that drivers have with trucking companies, the port is committed to continued collaboration with the UTA and other stakeholders for enhancing operational efficiencies within their jurisdiction.

"It is in the best interests of all stakeholders to maximise the efficiency of the port, and Port Metro Vancouver actively works with stakeholders to ensure the efficient and reliable movement of cargo in support of Canada’s domestic and international trade," Xotta said.

The strike, which follows a one-day protest in October 2013, could impact the port’s reputation as a reliable and competitive gateway for handling cargo from all across the world through its 30 deep sea and domestic marine terminals.

The strike by UTA is the second after the 2005 truckers’ strike that lasted for six weeks and caused losses of approximately CAD800m ($719m).

According to the 2013 figures, Port Metro Vancouver has handled 135 million tonnes of cargo, which accounts for 19% of the entire trade in Canada.

Port Metro Vancouver trades $172bn worth of goods annually from over 160 trading economies, that generates approximately 100,000 jobs, $6.1bn in wages and $9.7bn of Canada’s gross domestic product.