British Columbia port strike shifting cargo to Tacoma

Staff writerMarch 24, 2014 

A strike by both union and non-union truck drivers serving Port Metro Vancouver shipping terminals is giving container volumes at the Port of Tacoma a boost.

The lengthy strike -- it began in February -- has caused some shippers and container shipping lines to unload cargo destined for Vancouver's port at the Port of Tacoma.

That cargo can either be stored at the Tacoma port or trucked to its Canadian destination.

Port of Tacoma spokeswoman Tara Mattina said no ships have been diverted to Tacoma yet  Vancouver-bound containers aboard ships that make scheduled stops in Tacoma are being unloaded here.

The statistics on that diverted cargo won't be available until the end of the month, she said.

Meanwhile, in British Columbia, legislation has been introduced calling for fines both for the truckers' union and for individuals who fail to return to work. 

Some strikers have said they will defy that legislation.  The port has said it will deny licenses to carry port cargoes to truck drivers who fail to heed the legislation. That legislation is expected to pass this week.

Truckers have been demanding less waiting time for loads and better pay.

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