Unifor warns of chaos at Vancouver port

by Today's Trucking

Unifor has warned of chaos if the Metro Vancouver port goes ahead with the plan to force hundreds of container trucks out of the transportation system that is already under pressure from the pandemic, flooding and supply chain issues.

“Without action from Transport Minister Omar Alghabra, gridlock will overtake Vancouver’s ports,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor national president in a news release. “Millions of British Columbians rely on the efficient operation of their ports. Ignoring the issue has only made matters worse.”

Port of Vancouver
The Port of Vancouver will introduce a ban on trucks older than 10 years beginning Feb. 1. (Photo: Port of Vancouver)

The Port of Vancouver will introduce a ban on trucks older than 10 years beginning Feb. 1. Applying for a temporary exemption comes with large fees for truckers.

Unifor renewed demands to convene consultations about the fairest way to transition the trucks without causing financial hardship for truck drivers and minimal disruption in port trucking capacity. The union says a two-year pause to the phase-out and access to financial assistance would start to ease concerns.

The province and the federal government share jurisdiction for container trucking. Unifor in the news release said B.C. government officials have been slow to react and share much of the blame for the looming truck shortage.

Unifor Western regional director Gavin McGarrigle said the Port of Vancouver’s CEO Robin Silvester is rushing implementation instead of opening dialogue with truckers: “During our discussions, the port’s leadership has been part of the problem, not part of the solution.”

Unifor-Vancouver Container Trucking Association (VCTA) president Paul Nagra met with local Liberal MPs to help resolve the problem. “We’ve sounded the alarm for years. The time is now to fix this arbitrary deadline with flexibility and meaningful input from the workers that help keep shipping goods moving in the Lower Mainland.”

Have your say

This is a moderated forum. Comments will no longer be published unless they are accompanied by a first and last name and a verifiable email address. (Today's Trucking will not publish or share the email address.) Profane language and content deemed to be libelous, racist, or threatening in nature will not be published under any circumstances.


  • I am a Marine Surveyor and inspect ships, shipments and often cargoes that are loaded onto trucks.

    If the information in this post is correct then it is totally ridiculous as the age of a truck or the trailer does not reflect on its present maintenance position – does the Port Authority propose to ban ships of 10 years age and older ? I think not.

    Like an older ship an older truck and trailer can be in better shape than one that is 3 years old of younger.

    Do the container terminals plan to replace their trucks and bombcarts over 10 years old ? Also I think not.

  • With the shortage of drivers why push out older owners ops with older trucks to bring in new trucks that are back ordered with more computers. We need to ensure theses older experienced driver stay around even if the just work a 25 year old truck the peak times of year.

  • Most container freight don’t pay premium rates to be able to afford newer equipment That’s why most smaller container haulers have the older payed off equipment to do the job I have seen here in Halifax where the larger Transport company’s buy new equipment & work it for the same rates as the small mom & pops operations do In a few months they realized they are going behind in making money You cant buy new equipment @ todays prices & make money with the newer equipment hauling containers It don’t matter the age of your truck & trailer is as long as it is safe to operate & maintained to pass safety checks Most older equipment is more reliable to operate & more cost efficient than newer models & in better condition then the newer equipment because the owner drivers it him or her self & operate like a small business If they want to have newer trucks put the rate what to reflect the cost of the higher price equipment & yea like that going to happen sometime soon We all bitch when the price goes up for the shopper so get rid of all the old trucks & see what will happen to the end price for the shopper I have been in the transport industry for 46 years So I know what I am talking about from being a driver to management & everything in between At least with the older trucks you never got the calls my truck wont do a regen & its 2 days before the dealer can look it it k

  • Simple….stop voting for the regime in charge of the nonsense and take our country back. Stop supporting big business that has nothing but foreign import and start manufacturing and being self-sufficient here in Canada. Not easy to change this, but inflation, taxation, and totalitarian rule is due to take over once the scheme is complete.