Picture of a flagger at Port of Vancouver
10 September


Visitors on the Port of Vancouver could possibly be disrupted subsequent week as truckers affected by the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority’s Rolling Truck Age Program ponder job motion as early as Aug. 1.

From Sept. 15, the port will ban container-hauling vans with mannequin years older than 2006, to enhance air high quality and group well being.

United Truckers Affiliation (UTA) spokesperson Gagan Singh stated if the group doesn’t hear from the federal government by July 31, members is not going to be going to work from Aug. 1 and can partake in job motion. Talks are underway with politicians from completely different events, however there was no dialogue with port officers.

(Photograph: Vancouver Fraser Port Authority)

The port authority advised trucknews.com that for the reason that UTA isn’t a union, the job motion can be characterised as a withdrawal of service fairly than a strike.

“We acknowledge the UTA members’ rights to lawfully protest and categorical their views and would take a measured response to any operational impacts on the port ought to any UTA members withdraw their service,” a port authority spokesperson stated.

All container trucking companies trying to serve the port’s marine container terminals should meet sure standards – together with minimal truck age, security, and environmental necessities – to entry the federally owned port property beneath the Truck Licensing System (TLS).

Paul Nagra, president of Unifor-Vancouver Container Truckers’ Affiliation, stated this system must be delayed for 2 years. “Vehicles are very costly resulting from provide shortages and wait occasions have elevated. Costs have risen as a result of there isn’t a lot used stock,” he stated.

The port’s Rogge stated the trade was given loads of time to arrange for the transfer. Of the 1,800 vans that function, 80% already comply. About 270 vans owned by firms and unbiased operators stay to get replaced.

Sixteen vans will instantly be affected on Sept. 15. He stated varied vans will age out on milestone dates that embrace Feb. 1 and July 1, 2023.

Picture of Baljinder Sall
Baljinder Sall along with his 2003 Kenworth W900. (Photograph: Equipped)

A private value

Baljinder Sall, one of many truckers instantly affected by this system, operates a 2003 Kenworth W900 powered by a Caterpillar 550 engine, and feels he’s being unfairly focused.

“My truck runs positive and has handed the ministry of transportation inspection. It has been paid off. If I purchase a brand new automobile the month-to-month funds shall be about $4,000,” stated the 53-year-old who has been a industrial driver for 3 a long time.

Sall’s son is disabled, and his spouse doesn’t work so she will be able to look after him. “He can’t stroll, discuss, or eat on his personal. So, I can’t work removed from dwelling. I’ve to remain shut by,” he stated.

UTA’s Singh argues that if an older truck is offered, it’s going to simply be purchased and probably utilized by somebody in the identical space. The affiliation claims the port is concentrating on simply 2% of vans in B.C., too.

“If atmosphere is the priority, how come the port is the largest coal exporter in North America?” Singh requested.

Rogge countered the port doesn’t handle or decide Canada’s commerce coverage. The federal authorities does. There’s additionally a variety of regulation to decarbonize coal exports, he added.

Picture of a flagger at Port of Vancouver
(Photograph: Vancouver Fraser Port Authority)

Tom Johnson, head of media relations for the Port Transportation Affiliation (PTA), stated the group created by drayage trucking firm house owners has advised UTA and the port authority that, if there’s job motion, its drivers is not going to be compelled to cross picket traces.

“If the UTA members do protest, the port gates are going to be blocked. It’s going to stall the Canadian financial system,” he warned.

The port’s Rogge predicted such packages will grow to be extra commonplace because the federal and provincial governments attempt to obtain environmental aims. “We have to concentrate on the impacts inside our jurisdiction. We all know we’re doing the appropriate factor,” he stated.

Making ready to conform

Within the meantime, some trucking firms that function on the port are already gearing as much as adjust to the coverage.

“We might want to procure new tools and replace our fleet because the Rolling Truck Age Program progresses,” Delta-based Sandhar Trucking stated in a press release. “A brand new 2022 truck will value roughly $250,000 and we are going to probably have to buy newer vans to allow them to keep within the port for an extended time period. It’s not value it for us to buy older vans as a result of they are going to be faraway from the port’s Rolling Truck Age program a lot prior to a 2022 mannequin.”

The problem is that dealerships lack stock.

“Presently, we’re not sure the place we are going to buy new vans to satisfy the necessities,” the provider stated.

Kimberly Transport, additionally based mostly in Delta, says it’s going to spend about $750,000 to obtain newer tools.

Normal supervisor Johnson (who can be the PTA spokesman) stated the corporate has been shopping for new tools as older vans age out, and repairs are cost-prohibitive. “We now have solely a small handful of models left that don’t meet the minimal age requirement,” he added.

Resulting from lengthy wait lists, the corporate is “conserving a watch open for something which will come accessible and or retiring a few of our freeway fleet early to make use of them on the town.”

Johnson stated that carriers shall be required to indebt themselves on an ongoing foundation as this system eliminates vans yearly.

Lowering emissions

The port itself expects to remove 37 tons of particulate matter per yr, utilizing the 2019 fleet as a base and evaluating it to the fleet anticipated in July 2023. That’s the equal to eradicating 200,000 passenger automobiles from the highway. The purpose is to be carbon-free by 2050.

Initially scheduled for Feb. 1, 2022, this system’s launch was postponed after federal Transport Minister Omar Alghabra requested the port authority to think about a brief delay to hunt additional enter from stakeholders.

In response, the port authority carried out two rounds of public engagement with TLS individuals, trade associations and stakeholders, Indigenous teams, native authorities, and group organizations to assist revise the plan.  

Nagra stated Unifor participated in each rounds — two digital conferences — and offered two written submissions to the port.

The UTA, nonetheless, declined to take part. “It was not a session. It was an data session. We refused to be part of that. We needed it to be in individual with Transport Canada and somebody from the ministry,” Singh stated.

As older automobiles have to be changed, the port doesn’t anticipate owner-operators and firms to purchase new automobiles. They solely have to adjust to the foundations. For instance, a 2014 or newer truck can function on the port till not less than 2026 — and even a pair years past that by means of an exception course of that requires factory-installed environmental tools to be current and functioning.

Because the change comes into impact, although, driver Sall has no thought what the longer term holds for him. Up to now, he has earned a good residing hauling masses on the port.

“I can’t work in building, I’m not that younger,” he stated. “I’ve no clue what I’ll do.”


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