Strike Disrupted Vessel Arrivals at the Port of Montreal
Aug. 20, 2020
Montreal dockworkers have been working without a union contract with the Maritime Employers Association since December 2018 as they have been continuing to negotiate their working hours.
Starting in July 2020, dockworkers have held several strikes. A series of scheduled strikes took place during the weeks of July 2, July 27, and August 3. Then, on August 10, workers started an indefinite strike that is continuing into its second week.
In response to the disruptions, carriers that visit the Port of Montreal have diverted vessels to the Port of Halifax and other ports.
To understand the impact of the strikes on port performance, we reviewed the weekly trends in vessel arrivals, vessel arrival delays, and berth times at the ports of Montreal and Halifax from May 31 through August 15, 2020.
Fewer Container Vessels Arrive at Montreal During the Strikes
While weekly vessel arrivals increased at Halifax from July 19 through August 14, they decreased at Montreal. For the week of August 9, at the start of the indefinite strike, no vessels arrived at Montreal.
Vessel Arrival Delays Fluctuate Throughout the Summer
During the studied period, weekly average vessel arrival delays at Montreal ranged from 9 to 36 hours, with three of the weeks experiencing average delays of more than 35 hours at Montreal. Weekly average vessel arrival delays ranged from 6 to 23 hours at Halifax.
Halifax Weekly Average Berth Times a Fraction of Montreal's Times
Lastly, weekly average vessel berth times were between 11 and 23 hours at Halifax, while they extended from 44 to 98 hours at Montreal.
Planning for Eastern Canada Schedule Changes
While the strike at Montreal continues, shippers may want to closely monitor their cargo scheduled not only through Montreal, but also nearby ports of Halifax and St. John as carriers and shippers seek ways to move cargo efficiently through the area.
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