According to multiple media outlets, the appointment of Andy Smith as Container Trucking Commissioner of Metro Port Vancouver has spurred a new uproar among drayage drivers. As reported by the Vancouver Sun, local truckers feel that Smith’s position as head of the British Columbia Maritime Employers Association – the association representing the port’s marine terminals – creates a conflict of interest. In his new role, Smith will be responsible for overseeing the new truck licensing system that took effect on February 1, setting minimum drayage rates and ensuring that those rates are observed.
A statement by Todd Stone, B.C. Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, characterized Stone as bringing “a wealth of experience and in-depth knowledge of the sector...I’m confident he’ll be able to positively engage with labour and industry and bring much needed stability to the ports, which are of enormous importance to our provincial and national economies.”
According to recent statements, Unifor and the United Truckers Association, which represent a combined 1,800 union and non-union port drivers, are still deciding whether labor action is in order. While recent changes instituted by the government, aimed at curbing rate undercutting, may have been enough to prevent strike, Smith’s appointment has further heightened tensions between the provincial government and the drayage community.
SPARX logistics will continue to monitor this situation and keep our customers informed of the latest developments. If you have questions or concerns related to specific shipments, please feel free to contact your SPARX representative.