The performance of the drayage sector is vital to the cargo fluidity of Canada’s dominant container trade served by Port Metro Vancouver (PMV) as the conduit through the Asia-Pacific Gateway. Given this importance, it’s not surprising that 2014’s disruption in trucking service caused significant concern amongst shippers, businesses and government.
To address the issues, the B.C. Government appointed a B.C. Container Trucking Commissioner in early February 2015 to support better working conditions for container truckers and to ensure efficient and reliable operations at Port Metro Vancouver. The appointment of Andy Smith, who remains President and CEO of the B.C. Maritime Employers Association, has drawn some criticism from trucking industry representatives as a potential conflict of interest however, Smith’s record in successfully negotiating two historic eight-year collective agreements on the West Coast waterfront has established his reputation for fairness while bringing reliability to Canada’s Asia-Pacific Gateway.
With no less than two lawsuits launched by the trucking industry (one by Unifor which asks the court to enforce new provincially-imposed minimum rates that were previously promised as well as the removal of Smith from the Commissioner role; and the other by the United Truckers Association addressing the new licensing system and the resulting loss of jobs for hundreds of truckers), Smith remains focussed on the task of ensuring long-term stability for Canada’s largest port.
The importance of trucks
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