Canada Benefiting from U.S. Port Congestion

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Congestion at U.S. ports is providing cargo interests with additional incentives to use ports in Canada and Mexico, according to a member of the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission, and that is likely benefiting Canadian truckers, at least somewhat.

According to the Journal of Commerce, FMC Commissioner Richard Lidinsky talked about the issue at a recent meeting of the FMC as part of an update of a 2012 report that examined whether the U.S. harbor maintenance tax was causing diversions of cargo from U.S. ports.

The tax is collected on U.S. imports to help pay for the cost of maintaining port facilities.

Three years after the first report, “we have seen that shippers are not going to stop diverting cargo through Canadian ports, and that Mexican ports continue to present another option for those individual shippers looking for alternative routes,” Lidinsky said.

According to the story, Canadian and Mexican ports have become increasingly attractive because of U.S. port congestion and he noted that congestion at U.S. ports during the past year resulted in some freight diversions.

During the first half of 2015, Port Metro Vancouver’s share of West Coast container volume, including empty boxes, rose to 13 percent from 11.5 percent a year earlier, and Prince Rupert’s West Coast market share rose to 3.3 percent from 2.4 percent, according to the Journal of Commerce.

This also happened as the Seattle Tacoma port saw increased West Coast traffic while it fell at the California ports of Oakland, Los Angeles and Long Beach.

Read more about it from the Journal of Commerce.

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