Post-strike recovery for western Canadian ports measured in weeks, not days: sources
It could take into September before the ports of Vancouver and Prince Rupert fully recover from the 13-day dockworker strike that idled both western Canadian ports and disrupted trans-Pacific sailing schedules, industry observers told the Journal of Commerce Friday.
The strike ended Thursday when the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (Canada) and the British Columbia Maritime Employers Association agreed on terms for a tentative four-year contract.
But forwarders, shipping lines and trucking interests say they are advising their customers it will take weeks — possibly into September — for operations at Prince Rupert and Vancouver — Canada’s largest port — to return to normal.
The rule of thumb in the port and marine terminal industry is that for each day a port is shut down, it takes three to five days to recover, Julia Kuzeljevich, director of policy and communications at the Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association, told the Journal of Commerce.
“Maybe end of summer, early September,” Kuzeljevich said when assessing the timeline for a full recovery of the ports.
Views on the recovery period vary, but it is clearly not a matter of days.
“We look at it in weeks — three weeks to recover for every week of [a] shutdown,” an executive at a carrier that calls at Vancouver said.