Action Needed to Restore Canada’s Supply Chain

Chamber of Shipping > Blog > Press Releases + Statements > Action Needed to Restore Canada’s Supply Chain

Vancouver, February 14, 2020 – Western Canada’s marine and waterfront industry is urgently calling on the Federal and Provincial Governments to redouble efforts to lead the de-escalation of tensions and removal of blockades which are inhibiting the safety of our highly skilled workforce and impeding the movement of goods through Canada’s supply chain.

We are encouraged to see that the Federal and Provincial governments are actively engaging in dialogue with Indigenous leaders to resolve this issue both here in BC and across Canada. We support governments working quickly to bring a peaceful and swift resolution to the disruptions across the country. We believe there is a path to uphold the rule of law, restore Canada’s well deserved reputation as a stable and reliable supply chain all within the spirit of reconciliation.

Vancouver and Prince Rupert are strategic ports for the Pacific Gateway and among Canada’s busiest ports serving major Canadian industries including manufacturing, mining, energy, forestry, agriculture, and construction. Ongoing disruption of the supply chain is leading to congestion at port terminals from stranded imports and diminished capacity to service export cargo.

Prince Rupert is the fastest growing port on the West Coast and highly dependent on CN Rail services. An already lengthy disruption will potentially divert ships and cargo to US ports permanently and threaten newly created Indigenous jobs in the region.

Canadians and Canadian businesses rely upon a predictable and efficient supply chain to deliver their products to global markets – in 2018, ports moved over 342 million metric tonnes of cargo. The ongoing disruptions penalize Canadian businesses and it will take weeks and possibly months to recover.

Canada is a trading nation and prompt and appropriate resolution of the ongoing disruption must be of the highest priority for our governments.


Robert Lewis-Manning, President, Chamber of Shipping: “Canadian businesses rely on a predictable, efficient and productive supply chain to move products globally. This action is harming the reputation of Canadian ports and the Canadian supply chain. Even a resumption of service at this stage will take weeks to resolve and impacts the markets that Canadian shippers serve.”

Mike Leonard, President and CEO, BC Maritime Employers Association:
“British Columbia’s ports and terminals play a vital role in the BC and Canadian economies. While we respect the right to a peaceful protest, the priority must be to ensure that BC’s hardworking waterfront employees are able to get to their place of work, safely perform their jobs and continue to support their families.”

Robert Wilds, Executive Director, BC Marine Terminal Operators Association: “Our members rely on efficient and reliable rail service to ensure that Candian import and export cargo arrive on schedule. As a critical component of the supply chain any disruption in service is detrimental to our reputation as a reliable gateway and service providers.”

About Chamber of Shipping
The Chamber of Shipping represents commercial carriers and their agents in Canada which trade internationally and domestically. Commercial shipping results in $30 billion of economic activity annually in Canada and moves more than $200 billion worth of goods to and from global markets. The marine transportation sector is vital to supporting Canadian trade, and Canada’s continued prosperity and high standard of living depends on our ability to deliver resources, goods, and people in a responsible and competitive manner.

About BC Maritime Employers Association
The BC Maritime Employers Association (BCMEA) represents 55 member organizations comprised of ship owners and agents, stevedores, container, bulk, break bulk and cruise ship terminal operators. BCMEA member companies are a vital part of the BC and Canadian Economies and mainstay of the coastal community. Operating 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, BCMEA members move goods worth $53 billion around the globe every year.

About BC Marine Terminal Operators
The BC Marine Terminal Operators Association represent the major marine terminals in Canada’s Pacific Gateway. Our members employ over 8,000 employees and handle more than 120 million tonnes of cargo per year. Our sector plays a vital role in ensuring that Canadian exporters and importers remain competitive in the international market by engaging with all stakeholders to ensure Canada’s Pacific Gateway delivers sustainable, competitive terminal capacity to meet Canada’s growing trade.


For more information:
Janet Kelly
Chamber of Shipping
T +1 604 681 2351

Grace Sullivan
BC Maritime Employers Association
T +1 604 363 1730

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