Port Metro Vancouver is taking steps to ensure the safety of the port and port users, and the smooth movement of goods in the face of ongoing disruption to operations by members of the United Truckers Association.
This group of truckers is protesting the wages paid by those who hire them, as well as wait times. Trucking wages are between truckers and trucking companies and Port Metro Vancouver will not interfere in that commercial arrangement.
Port Metro Vancouver is, however, aggressively pursuing initiatives to alleviate wait times, an area over which we can exert influence. The port said it is actively engaged in dialogue with stakeholders, including terminal operators, and have significant ongoing investments, including over $100 million in infrastructure improvements, a GPS tracking program and active investigation into implementing extended hours at terminal gates. These programs and initiatives are ongoing, with significant milestones set for 2014.
Though recently wait times have occasionally been long due to unusually severe weather in the east and elsewhere, GPS data shows the average truck wait time is well within industry standards. Sixty-four percent of trucks are waiting less than one hour to pick up or drop off cargo, while less than 5% are waiting longer than two hours.
There is room for improvement. We are working with terminal operators and key stakeholders to reduce wait times. The goal for 2014 is to reduce wait times to less than one hour, 75% of the time. The long-term goal is to have 100% of wait times under one hour. Up-to-date information on the current wait times at Port Metro Vancouver container terminals can be found on our website here. An overview of wait times recorded over previous years can be found on our website here.
There are now allegations and evidence some protestors are disrupting port operations, including violence, intimidation and sabotage of trucks and property. These individuals will be identified and their licenses to access port property will be terminated.
With the support of industry, government, law enforcement and other truckers, Port Metro Vancouver is intent on returning the port to regular operations as soon as possible.