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June 11 2018

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28 The Journal of Commerce | June 11 2018 www.joc.com Canada Shipping and Trade Special Report meeting of port stakeholders. "We can say for now that we are seeing less periods of peak activity at the gate," he said, adding that he hasn't heard about discussions regarding an extension of the pilot. Total loaded volumes through the port in the first four months of 2018 were up 8 percent year over year, to 524,967 TEU, port authority figures show. In April, the port han- dled 140,911 TEU, 12 percent more than the same month in 2017. Truck traffic into the port also has increased with a surge in im- ports from Asia, which now account for 25 percent of the port's business, port officials said. Terminal owners agreed at the end of April to extend the gate hours for a five-week pilot program, from May 14 to June 22, during which the impact will be studied. The terminals adopted the longer hours immediately, and truckers say the shift has made a significant impact. "So far, so good," said Corey Dar- byson, director of Transport Dsquare. "We're getting the desired results." He said the port will need to study its cargo volumes over the pilot period to ensure that the improved turn times aren't the result of lower volumes, but the current figures don't show that to be the case. "Overall, on a daily basis, delays have gone down," said Rocky Singh, manager of safety and compliance at Zac Tranz Group. "The extension of gate hours until 1900 [7 p.m.] has certainly helped the majority of carriers." JOC email: Hugh.Morley@ihsmarkit.com twitter: @HughRMorley_JOC service from Montreal to Europe, including Mediterranean Shipping Co., CMA CGM, and OOCL. With the new Maersk service, Montreal will have nine international services, of which Maersk operates two. The port could face pressure in the future from a proposed C$400 million ($310 million) container terminal planned by the port of Quebec, which could handle mega-ships in the 8,000- to 10,000-TEU range, far larger than the maximum 5,000-TEU vessels that Montreal can handle. Quebec is looking to bring the new port online within three years. (Story, page 17) Montreal's four main terminals agreed to extend their gate hours four weeks ago — mostly to close at 7 p.m., from 2:30 p.m. previously, after the port experienced sustained congestion starting at the end of 2017. Michael Fratianni, president and CEO of Montreal Gateway Terminals Partnership, which operates the Cast and Racine terminals, said turn times at the terminals were back to normal, leaving the problems behind. "The extended-gate pilot project is showing encouraging results," Fratianni said, adding that "more than likely, the participation rate for visits during off-peak periods will improve with time." Still, he said, "the industry appre- ciates that the terminal alone cannot fully absorb the important costs associated with extending gate hours for a protracted period of time." Julien Dubreuil, general manager of Termont Montreal, said the pre- liminary results of the gate exten- sion would be reviewed at a June 6 to test the new model. Although there is a sense of ur- gency in implementing the increased driver pay provisions and testing the proposed change in the reservation fee, the Vancouver port community isn't panicking as they were during the 2014 driver strikes. Earle said the mood of the drivers is to push for change, but he would be "very sur- prised" if there are job actions while the pilot project is underway. Philip Davies, principal at Van- couver-based consulting firm Davies and Associates, said the driver pay structure has been unchanged since 2014, but operating costs have increased. Also, Vancouver this past winter experienced congestion problems and a doubling of contain- er dwell times to six days, primarily because of weather and rail service issues, which cut into driver earn- ings. The government-mandated 2.6 percent increase in trip rates and hourly wages (covering both own- er-operators and employee drivers) should have an immediate impact, Davies said. The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure also mandated an increase in the minimum payment that must be paid to each driver dispatched from $200 to $300. In reality, drayage costs in the region are such that the so-called call-out rate is normally exceeded, Earle said. Trucking and port interests in Vancouver said the time for effective change is now, in order to prevent port congestion from developing during the peak shipping season and before driver unrest gets out of control. "We must serve the needs of a growing port," Earle said. JOC email: bill.mongelluzzo@ihsmarkit.com twitter: @billmongelluzzo "How will it work? Nobody knows because we don't have the data to go by." Montreal Port Authority says the port's cargo volumes have already shown the impact of the EU-Canada free trade agreement. Shutterstock.com Vancouver, continued from page 26 Montreal, continued from page 27

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