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U.S.-Bound Container Ships Divert to Canadian Ports

PRINCE RUPERT, BC — Container ships from China, bound for the U.S., are diverting through Canadian ports to avoid delays from a looming strike at U.S. West Coast ports.

According to Bloomberg, Prince Rupert and Vancouver ports have had increased container traffic in July from a year earlier, while Seattle and other U.S. ports have seen volumes drop. 

“If people are using the Canadian ports now out of concern for a slowdown, and they like what they see and they like the processing times and the experience, they’ll continue to funnel some of their traffic that way,” Emma Griffith, director at Fitch Ratings in New York who covers air and sea ports, told Bloomberg.

Prince Rupert port authority reported they’re about 68 hours closer to Shanghai – sailing time – than Los Angeles.

The current six-year labor contract between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Association expired on June 30 at midnight. The two sides have been negotiating since May 12 and there is still no sign of when the new contracts will be signed. The contracts affect workers at 29 ports from Washington state to California. 

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