British Columbia Labor Action - Update

blog | Jul 31, 2023

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the BC Maritime Employers Association (BCMEA) have now reached another new collective agreement for consideration and hopefully, member ratification. 

Despite this process taking on several twists and turns, including the ILWU’s members rejection of an earlier agreement last Friday, Vancouver ports remain operative. 

It is anticipated that there will be a continued lengthy recovery period for port, rail and other stakeholders, to restore full fluidity. 

The Railway Association of Canada has estimated that it would take three to five days for every day the strike lasted for networks and supply chains to recover. When the original strike ended on its 13th day, delays for rail containers were estimated at 39 to 66 days, which do not include the delays in vessels waiting to get processed.  

While Delmar has been relatively successful at managing final mile activities for local Vancouver destined cargo trapped at BC ports, it should be noted that less than 20% of all inland containers which arrived prior to the July 1st strike action have been put to rail. As this recovery process continues, it is causing major concern that we will witness longer than normal port and rail dwell times. 

As we approach peak season shipping periods which reflect a surge in volumes, Delmar will continue to offer Full Container and Groupage (LCL) services through Canadian West Coast ports in addition to all water services via Halifax and Montreal. 

Delmar will continue to closely monitor West Coast port and rail dwell times over the next several weeks. Should we identify excessive delays, we will provide a host of transload and related solutions to provide greater certainty and shorter transit times.   

To facilitate your bookings, we encourage all Delmar customers to communicate via our industry-leading Delmar Cargo Management SystemTM (DCMSTM). Through the platform, you can activate your booking approval notifications and manage requests to alter service routings. 


For additional information and assistance, please contact your local Delmar Representative.