Notice to industry

June 30, 2023

Anchorage assignment protocol in the event of labour action

On June 28, International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Canada issued a 72-hour strike notice to the BC Maritime Employers’ Association (BCMEA) and will be in a position to commence strike action on July 01 at 08:00 PDT.

The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority is aware of the potential impact that a strike could have on the supply chain and anchorage congestion. To address this issue, the port authority is taking proactive measures to manage vessel arrivals and anchorage assignments.

The goal of this new measure is to maintain port fluidity, ensure the safe movement of vessels and manage anchorage capacity for terminals not affected by strike activity. The port authority will follow these criteria for anchorage assignment in the event of a labour action:

  1. Inner Harbour: Maximum stay of 48-hours will be strictly enforced, and assignment will be limited to bunkering, fumigation, staging area, or emergency situations.
  2. English Bay and Indian Arm: The maximum stay limit of seven-days will be lifted. All anchorages will be reserved to support operations at terminals not affected by strike activity, partly loaded vessels that are delayed due to labour action, and larger vessels that can only be accommodated in English Bay.
  3. Southern Gulf Islands: These anchorages will be assigned per the Interim protocol for waiting vessels; a balanced use of these anchorages across the South Coast BC region and commodity sectors will be ensured.

The port authority is collaborating with Transport Canada Marine Safety and Security (MSS) and Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) to create a comprehensive view of all vessels, including anchorage utilization in the region. Additionally, the port authority is coordinating with Pacific Pilotage Authority and other regional ports on anchorages that are outside of port authority’s jurisdiction.

In case of any questions or clarifications, please reach out to our 24/7 Operations Centre at 604-665-9086 or [email protected]

Harbour Master’s Office