Go NORTH, young man!

Port Technology (August 31st) featured this story: “Canada Benefits From US Woes”

“Vessels traversing the northern Pacific are setting course for British Columbia, Canada, in order to avoid possible delays due to strikes at US West Coast ports.

“In July, traffic at Prince Rupert Port in Canada soared by 40% over the same period in 2013, according to data compiled by Bloomberg Intelligence, while volume dropped in Seattle, Prince Rupert’s major US rival.

“The advantage Canada is enjoying over its US rivals is chiefly owing to the economic recovery due to increasing container volumes from East Asia.

“While US West Coast ports remain entangled in labor disputes, Prince is grabbing customers with the shorter sailing times from China and efficient infrastructure which can whisk freight down into the US efficiently …

“Prince Rupert’s advantage is its unique position. It is as much as 68 hours closer to Shanghai in sailing time than is Los Angeles, according to the Prince Rupert Port Authority. Furthermore, Prince Rupert can transfer containers directly to trains rather than trucks, thereby vastly increasing efficiency.

“This type of traffic is booming for the Canadian National Railway, as its intermodal revenue jumped 17% in Q2, 2014.

“However, Bloomberg has reported that Prince Rupert is becoming a victim of its own success. This August, the time that containers sat on the dock waiting to be loaded onto trains rose to about 10 days, compared to around two days under average conditions.

“In the US, there is currently no affirmation as to when new contracts will be signed for workers at 29 ports stretching from Washington State to California. The workers are striking over work rules, salaries and health-care benefits.” —

Prince Rupert then, is no big deal. That port is doing well only because of the striking US ports. 10 days for waiting containers to be loaded onto trains because of “increasing container volumes”? And that supposedly translates into “vastly increasing efficiency”?

As for those 29 West Coast ports – and the other US ports as well – if they had adopted our patented storage, retrieval and delivery systems there would be no labor disputes and strikes. Profits would skyrocket and would guarantee acceptable “work rules, salaries and health-care benefits.”

And our intent to give unions “4% of our gross income” is a rising tide that would lift all boats.