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Freight and Logistics News: Market Update – Week of July 10, 2023
At a Glance
Ocean – TPEB: Carriers implement blank sailings to control rates amidst oversupply. Loading limitations are possible on US East Coast and Gulf Coast services due to Panama Canal draft restrictions.
Ocean – Indian Subcontinent: Coastal ports show strong equipment availability, while some inland container depots report deficits. Availability depends on import mix, with 20ft equipment being the most challenging.
Ocean – TAWB: Rates continue to decline with high capacity and low demand. Equipment widely available at major European ports, improved container turnaround times reduce congestion.
Trucking – U.S. import/export: Regulated trip rates and hourly comp increase for local drayage in Vancouver. Wildfires affect rail moves in Alberta, while US wet and rail ports remain fluid with short truck turn times. Impact of labor actions at B.C. ports yet to be seen.
ILWU Contract Negotiation
In recent news, approximately 7,400 dockworkers from the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) in Canada initiated a strike on July 1st following unsuccessful labor contract negotiations with the British Columbia Maritime Employers Association (BCMEA). This labor dispute threatens container traffic at vital ports in Vancouver and Prince Rupert, prompting ocean carriers to urge government intervention through the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.
The strike can potentially cause congestion at ports, impacting the unloading of vessels by longshoremen. Consequently, there may be additional fees, delays, and a shortage of storage space for containers destined for Vancouver or Prince Rupert. This strike could also have ripple effects on other transportation modes and ports across Canada and the Western Coast of the United States.
Rob Ashton, the president of Canada’s ILWU union representing the striking B.C. port workers, has requested that the federal government refrain from interfering, despite calls from business groups for back-to-work legislation. Ashton emphasizes the union’s commitment to remaining at the bargaining table until a fair negotiated deal is reached, stating, “We expect the BCMEA here all day, all night, until a deal is done so our people can go back to work with a fair negotiated deal for all of us.”
However, talks between the ILWU and the BCMEA may need help. The BCMEA has expressed doubts about resolving through negotiations, accusing the ILWU of maintaining entrenched positions and deeming compensation demands unreasonable.
Source 1: Global News Canada News
Source 2: Vancouver Sun
Labor negotiations between the ILA and the United States Maritime Alliance face setbacks as ILA President Harold Daggett urges local branches to discontinue talks. Despite having 15 months until existing contracts expire in September 2024, discussions initiated in late 2022 encounter obstacles on the Gulf and East Coasts.
Panama Canal eases draft restrictions amid improved drought conditions and reduced vessel transits. Previously planned for June 25, draft levels have been maintained, avoiding further limitations on Neopanamax and Panamax locks.