As many of you are aware, the Port of Montreal longshoremen went on strike as of Monday August 10th. Over the past few weeks, the union had been rotating strikes at the port trying to force the Port Authority to negotiate a deal but has not been successful. The current contract expired at the end of 2018 and negotiations have stalled. Government appointed mediators have not been able to help bridge the differences between the two parties.
The Port of Montreal is Canada’s second largest port and one the largest North American east coast facilities. It is connected to 140 countries, handles over 2000 ships a year with a total throughput of over 40 million tons of goods. The federal government has said they will not intervene even through the strike will have a significant impact on our economy.
The Montreal Port Authority and Maritimes Employees Association, that represent the longshoremen continue to talk but no progress has been made. There is no indication of when the strike will be settled but we are hopeful it will be short lived. The steamship lines have started to divert vessels to Saint John, NB and Halifax. NS, to be off-loaded and then railed to their destinations, thus adding a surcharge to cover the cost of the additional rail expense. We are working with the steamship lines to reduce these costs and to limit the impact on our product cost. We forsee instances where the increased costs will not be mitigated, and in turn there will be an impact on our selling price.
Quadra is working hard to maintain the high level of service that our customers expect through this work stoppage. We do anticipate an impact on our supply chain on several products, along with longer transit times and delays picking up at railyards. To help us minimize as much as possible the negative impact, we would ask our customers to provide additional lead-time on orders, and flexibility on delivery dates.
Our Account Managers and Customer Service teams are available to assist and answer your questions. Quadra will continue to update you throughout the strike. We appreciate your business and look forward to continuing to service your needs.