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One option for US shippers keen to avoid the congestion at the country’s west coast ports is to divert their cargo though the Canadian gateways of Vancouver and Prince Rupert. However, there is only limited capacity at Canada’s two west coast ports and a secondary problem – the two ports are operated by Canadian chapters of the International Longshoremen and Warehouse Union (ILWU), the same union representing dockers currently negotiating with employers in the US west coast ports; and few of those Canadian ILWU members are keen to handle cargo that might affect the bargaining position of their American brothers.

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