Lower Mainland Container Logistics Stakeholder’s Forum

The Province of British Columbia, in collaboration with key port system stakeholders, Canada and other levels of government, developed a BC Ports Strategy. This work resulted in the adoption of a shared statement of vision for British Columbia’s ports systems:


British Columbia is a leading gateway for Asia-Pacific trade
and has the most competitive
port system on the west coast
of the Americas.”

British Columbia’s geographic location gives us a tremendous natural advantage as the Pacific Gateway to North America. By 2020, Asia-Pacific container traffic is projected to increase by 300%, from the current level of two million TEUs to nine million TEUs. When successful, this increase in volume will provide benefits to many British Columbians: workers, importers, exporters, truckers, shipping companies, port terminals and railways, to name a few.

Reliability is Essential

In the summer of 2005, container truckers shut down most road transport to Lower Mainland port facilities. As a consequence, port container traffic was halted and our worldwide reputation as a reliable gateway was affected.

Stakeholder Solutions Required

The work stoppage of summer 2005, along with a previous stoppage in 1999, were symptoms of a complex array of problems in the lower mainland port container logistics system. Key problems include:

  • The system is complex—it's hard to see and understand where costs are incurred and who pays them;
  • Some parties in the supply chain do not bear all of the costs of their decisions;
  • Parties act in their own interest to the detriment of effective planning, management and operation of the overall supply chain.

The development and implementation of logistics solutions that improve the reliability, productivity and efficiency of the land-side container logistics system involving trucks, inland terminals and port terminals will be key to this success.

An approach that addresses both individual interests and system wide efficiency objectives is required to solve these and other problems.

A Venue for Action

The Province has concluded that a stakeholders’ forum—given the correct mandate and support—is capable of developing innovative solutions.


Forum Members

Importer   Canadian Tire
Exporter West Fraser Timber
Longshoreman ILWU Canada
Driver representative Canadian Auto Workers
Driver representative Teamsters Union
Independent Owner Operator (currently vacant)
Company representative Team Transport Services
Company representative KTL Transport
Company representative BC Trucking Association
Port authority Fraser River Port
Port authority Vancouver Port
Port container facility Centerm P&O Ports Canada
Inland container facility Transpacific Container Terminal Ltd

Forum Mandate

The forum mandate is: Develop and implement logistics and tactical solutions and identify strategic long term solutions that improve the reliability, productivity and efficiency of the land side container logistics system involving trucks, inland terminals and port terminals.

Under this mandate, information will be developed on the cost and operating performance of the components of the system for the following reasons:

  • To improve the quality and availability of information for all participants in the supply chain,  
  • To provide the participants an objective basis from which to engage in problem solving through informed dialogue, and  
  • To assist in identifying areas where unnecessary costs or poor performance are experienced.

This will enable individual stakeholders to make better decisions for the benefit of their organizations and the system as a whole and enable the identification, monitoring and implementation of actions needed to benefit the whole system.


Forum Terms of Reference

Following are the terms of reference for the forum:



Acquire or develop and make available to parties involved in the port logistics supply chain, a truck costing tool that provides cost estimates of trucking activities;  


Using appropriate analytical tools analyze the lower mainland land side logistics system affecting container trucks to provide objective information on the performance of the current system and develop potential solution options;


Prioritize and agree on solutions within the logistics system affecting container trucks to be implemented by members either individually or jointly;


Develop an action plan for the land side logistics system affecting container trucks and promote commitment from parties that will lead to implementation of the recommendations within agreed time frames;


Develop measures for the proposed solutions to track progress. Examples of measures dealing with truck time spent at port property might include the following:

  • average time spent at port property from truck arrival to departure from port property;
  • time spent at terminals from truck arrival to departure at peak times;
  • terminal reservations booked versus actual.


Where necessary members will identify actions to remove obstacles to progress;


Report on a regular basis to the Assistant Deputy Minister Transportation Planning and Policy of the Ministry of Transportation the measures and progress in implementation of its recommendations;


Recommend to the Assistant Deputy Minister a strategy for communicating to the industry, and


Demonstrate progress towards implementation of solutions within the first 6 months of operations.


The forum will address and may make recommendations regarding management, planning, operations, processes, or any other matters involving landside logistics affecting container trucking regarding:

  • storage of containers at inland container terminals;
  • loading and or unloading of trucks at inland container terminals;
  • movement of empty and loaded containers by trucks within the geographic boundaries defined for this project;
  • processing of trucks through gates at port terminals;  
  • handling, unloading and or loading of trucks at port terminals, and
  • storage of containers at port terminals.

Business Costing Tool For Owner Operators

As part of the work undertaken by the Forum, the Ministry of Transportation developed a business costing tool for use by container truck owner operators. The tool is intended for informational purposes only.

Please click here to open tool

For further information on starting a new business, you may want to visit the Government of Canada’s Business Start-up Assistant at http://bsa/cbsc.org/.


Reports / Information

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure’s report out on the Business Mapping Project – May 21, 2009
- 561 KB PDF 29 pages

BC Ministry of Transportation Container Trucking Forum, Container Simulation Project, Final Report - December 17, 2007
- 891 KB PDF 66 pages

News Release:
Federal and Provincial Measures Boost Stability of Port Trucking Operations - August 1, 2007

English Version

Punjabi Version - 50 KB PDF

Subsequent to the work stoppage in the summer of 2005 (June 27 - August 4, 2005), the federal and provincial governments appointed a three-person Task Force to provide recommendations to prevent a recurrence and promote more harmony in the sector. The final report was issued October 26, 2005 and is provided for reference.

Task Force Final Report - 1.5 MB PDF