Toronto, February 18, 2021
As the negotiation process is currently suspended and the truce between the dockworkers' union CUPE 375 and the Maritime Employers Association (MEA) draws to a close, the Montreal Port Authority (MPA) hopes that the parties will quickly reach an agreement to avoid a new work stoppage by the dockworkers
Nearly a month before the end of the truce between the employer and the union, scheduled for March 21 at 6:59 am, the MPA has found that several Quebec and Ontario businesses that use the Port of Montreal, including some that move critical cargo to combat COVID-19, are diverting containerized goods to other ports, and that others are planning to do so if a new work stoppage occurs soon.
While diversion to other ports is viewed as a way to bypass issues at the Port of Montreal, as was experienced during the last work stoppage in 2020, these ports of diversion became quickly overwhelmed and cargo movement stagnated.  Coupled with this is the fact that existing liner service to such ports is at capacity at the moment, so the options of diverting to these ports will be limited.
This situation could result in major delays in the supply chain and higher freight costs, as the economic recovery and a broader reopening of the retail sector in Quebec and Ontario get under way.
For more information, please call David Lychek, Manager – Ocean & Air Services at (905) 882-4880, ext. 1207.