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U.S. apparel trade group calls to recall Canadian Parliament as ports strike enters 10th day – UnlistedNews

A picket line at the Neptune Terminal in the Port of Vancouver during a dockworker strike in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, on Wednesday, July 5, 2023.

Jimmy Jung | Mayor Bloomberg | fake images

As a strike by workers at Canadian west coast ports enters its 10th day, trade associations in both the United States and Canada warn the impact will inflate prices and cause weeks of product arrival delays. .

Approximately $572 million in container trade arrives in the US daily from Canada, according to a breakdown of US Census data. From January 2022 to May 2023, total monthly imports of goods from the US US shipments from Canada ranged from $31 billion to nearly $41 billion. The main imports of raw materials in May included mineral fuels, vehicles and machinery related to information technology.

The United States and Canada have a historically strong trading relationship: each country is the other’s main trading partner. About 20% of US trade arrives at the Canadian ports of Vancouver and Prince Rupert, where strikes broke out after union leaders and industry representatives withdrew from the negotiating table. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce estimates $605 million in trade moving through one of those two ports daily.

The volume of trade disrupted by the ongoing strike has raised supply chain concerns in the US.

Steve Lamar, executive director of the American Apparel and Footwear Association, told CNBC that any disruption to supply chains, including this strike, poses both inflation and inventory challenges. The biggest hurdle right now, he said, is accessing goods that are stuck on ships or diverted to other ports.

“The strike is affecting everyone, either directly for those companies that use British Columbia as a major transit hub or e-commerce hub, or indirectly as cargo is diverted to other ports,” Lamar said. “The Canadian government should use all its tools, including the removal of Parliament, to get people back to work and goods moving again.”

The International Longshoremen’s and Warehousemen’s Union and the British Columbia Maritime Employers’ Association are back at the bargaining table, each speaking individually with the mediators. Reaching an agreement quickly is crucial.

“It is hard to imagine a more disruptive event to Canada’s economy at this time than a work stoppage at our ports that will delay imports and exports at significant cost to consumers,” said Bruce Rodgers, executive director of the Canadian Shippers Association. International. in a letter last month addressed to Canada’s Minister of Labor, Seamus O’Regan.

CIFFA represents all parties in the supply chain: freight forwarders, truckers, warehouses and customs brokers.

Logistics managers predict that in three months, when Christmas items are on store shelves, shoppers will see higher prices.

ship diversion

Meanwhile, more ships are being diverted from Canadian ports to American alternatives.

Destine Ozuygur, chief operating officer of marine data and ship tracking company eeSea, told CNBC two ships, MSC Sara Elena and Ever Safety, have officially left Canadian ports and will not return.

“This has been confirmed by the ocean carrier,” Ozuygur said.

The company is also tracking two additional ships that previously listed Vancouver as their destination on the schedule, but no longer do so.

One ship, the MSC Matilde V, which was anchored outside Vancouver last week, weighed anchor and set off with cargo bound for Vancouver and headed back to Qingdao, China. Containers will have to be rebooked for another trip, adding to the load.

There are four ships identified by eeSea as having changed their port schedules, leaving Vancouver for US ports to supposedly return to Vancouver, but that may change after US port service. It is likely that many of the ships who changed their schedules do not return to Canada.

This was the case with the MSC Sara Elena, which was worked in Seattle. After the service, the carrier announced that she would not be returning to Vancouver, meaning Canada-bound cargo has been or will be discharged at future US ports.

The diversion of boats raised the question of whether American ILWU workers would work on the boats. Only ILWU workers are allowed to process vessels at West Coast ports.

The ILWU’s US West Coast chapter told CNBC last week that its members would not be working on any of the diverted ships.

“ILWU will not unload Canada-bound cargo in solidarity with our brothers and sisters at ILWU Canada,” ILWU US West Coast Chapter President Willie Adams said in a statement.

However, it would be very difficult for the ILWU to identify containers whose final destinations changed because union workers do not have access to container information for security reasons.

CNBC has reached out to the ILWU’s West Coast US chapter for comment on the MSC Sara Elena and Ever Safety diversions.

The diversions are the first of what could be a widespread rerouting of ships, delaying planned arrivals and straining supply chains just at the start of the peak season when holiday and back-to-school supplies arrive.

Container diversion also adds days to product delivery. For the auto industry running on tight just-in-time schedules, these delays can affect production.

Paul Brashier, vice president of drayage and intermodal for ITS Logistics, told CNBC that the company is already experiencing widespread rebooking of containers from western Canada to US West Coast ports in Seattle, Oakland, Los Angeles and Long Beach.

“These options are bringing freight back into the supply chain, but these solutions are adding extra touches and modes of transportation, which is driving costs up 50-60%,” Brashier said. “Even unaffected containers will be affected, as newly diverted cargo will congest markets with additional volumes that were not anticipated.”

Higher costs include fees to redirect the container, additional rail and trucking fees, additional customs fees, additional port fees, and subsequent container fees as a result of port and road congestion once it is shipped. processes the largest influx of containers.

Those fees are often passed on to consumers, similar to what happened during the Covid pandemic.

The Canadian National Railway Company, which services the ports, told CNBC it will take weeks or months to clear the congestion.

The Port of Vancouver and the Port of Prince Rupert are popular destinations for US trade because these ports are among the main ports of call for goods arriving from Asia. Some logistics managers told CNBC that rail service from those ports is much faster than going through the port of Seattle or Tacoma.


Sara Marcus
Sara Marcushttps://unlistednews.com
Meet Sara Marcus, our newest addition to the Unlisted News team! Sara is a talented author and cultural critic, whose work has appeared in a variety of publications. Sara's writing style is characterized by its incisiveness and thought-provoking nature, and her insightful commentary on music, politics, and social justice is sure to captivate our readers. We are thrilled to have her join our team and look forward to sharing her work with our readers.


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