Each month we will publish highlights from the important articles we’re reading about shipping and logistics. This month’s articles include shippers diverting their cargo as the Port of Montreal dispute escalates, container shortages in Asia due to the Suez Canal Blockage, a $36-million cargo expansion at Edmonton International Airport, using the Port of Vancouver as an alternative to the congested Los Angeles and Long Beach, transporting excavators from Germany to Canada, and celebrating the essential work of our truck drivers.
Shippers Divert Cargo with Partial Strike at Port of Montreal
The ongoing labour dispute at the Port of Montreal has escalated with longshore workers calling a partial strike in response to a pay guarantee suspension. The partial strike includes refusing overtime and weekend shifts.1 Tonnage at Montreal was down 11% in March compared to double-digit increases in most North American ports. Rail carriers have started reducing services to Montreal to prevent a pile-up of containers.2
With the partial strike and the federal government hesitant to intervene, many of our customers have already diverted their cargo to other ports. Others cannot because the additional cost are too prohibitive.
Container Shortages in Asia because of Suez Canal Blockage
The six-day Suez Canal closure in late March has caused ship delays in Europe of up to two weeks. This will delay the return of containers, causing a shortage of equipment that is urgently needed in China. Exporters will experience a rate surge out of China starting April 15th and this is expected to continue for at least a month.3 Currently the first available vessel space is the week of May 10th.
$36-million Cargo Expansion at Edmonton Airport
The Edmonton International Airport (EIA) is working on a $36-million expansion of its cargo operations. The expansion includes adding to the cargo-area apron to accommodate more planes for loading and unloading, a new hydrant fueling system, and expanded cold-storage area.4
EIA is the only Canadian airport with IATA’s CEIV Pharma certification for handling temperature-sensitive cargo like food products, pharmaceutical, and medical cargo. With a lack of cold storage in Western Canada, many of our shippers will be able to ship reefer containers via rail to Prince Rupert or air cargo through EIA. Our office in Alberta will be able to facilitate these shipments for you.
Port of Vancouver as an Alternative to Los Angeles and Long Beach
The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach have been congested since last summer, with an average of 30 vessels per day waiting to berth. Industry experts are predicting that shipping volumes will not decrease until summer months, which is when they expect the congestion to finally clear.5
With delays of up to 3 weeks in many US ports, Canaan Group has provided unique solutions to our customers by using the Port of Vancouver as an alternative gateway, and transloading the product at our Richmond warehouse before transporting it to its final destination. Contact your local sales representative to explore how this option might benefit your business.
Transporting Excavators from Germany to Canada
Canaan Group was able to help arrange the logistics for transporting several excavators from Germany to Canada.
If you need help transporting oversize and overweight machinery, equipment, and vehicles, contact our helpful and experienced project cargo team.
Celebrating the Essential Work of our Truck Drivers
We want to give a big shout out to all the cross border and domestic truck drivers that work at and with Canaan Group. Every day they risk their health and well-being by driving and delivering essential products all across North America. The drivers don’t have the luxury of working in the safety of their homes.
Unfortunately, the provincial government has been slow in recognizing truck drivers and warehouse workers as essential workers, so they have not been prioritized for vaccinations. But in our hearts and minds these workers are an essential part in our economy and the well-being of our communities. Thank you for your service!
1. Partial strike at Port of Montreal as union, employers dig in, American Shipper, April 12, 2021. Accessed April 14, 2021.
2. Shippers plead for federal intervention in escalating Montreal port dispute, Journal of Commerce, April 12, 2021. Accessed April 12, 2021.
3. Carriers warn of looming post-Suez China box shortage, Journal of Commerce, April 9, 2021. Accessed April 12, 2021.
4. Edmonton airport embarks on $36-million cargo upgrade, Inside Logistics, March 17, 2021. Accessed April 12, 2021.
5. New normal in LA-LB means port congestion at least until summer, Journal of Commerce, Mar 11, 2021. Accessed April 13, 2021.