Trade Regulation Updates

Labor Action: BC Ports

July 5, 2023

The ongoing International Longshore and Warehouse Union Canada labor action is significantly affecting the operations and logistics at all ocean ports of entry into British Columbia. The labor action has disrupted the regular flow of cargo handling and transportation services.

As a consequence, shipments currently at any port or en route to BC are unable to be Customs released or collected from over 30 Westcoast ports.

Prolonged waiting times, storage fees, and increased transportation costs may result, and associated fees relating to the below can be expected:

  • Port appointment reservation
  • Port congestion 
  • Port storage
  • Handling (if there is a freight forwarder involved)
  • Drayage (local delivery to destination and empty container return)
              - Steamship detention/demurrage (Empty containers return to the location chosen by the steamship line)
              - Due to congestion, there can be delays in returning the empty container
              - Steamship lines may NOT waive any demurrage incurred due to the chosen empty return location being unable to accept any further containers
              - Carriers that have been contracted for the drayage may also charge a chassis rental fee for every day the empty container is unable to be returned, as this ties up that chassis from accepting new drayage orders
              - Block stow charges are applicable when a container is on the port, buried under other containers, and inaccessible

Please reach out to our Freight Team at 604-535-4038 or to discuss options for those goods not yet on the water.

We will update this post as the situation develops.