Canada – Container Terminal & Rail Service Update

Canadian ocean freight terminals both on the West Coast, as well as East Coast, are currently experiencing longer than normal dwell times.

Numerous factors including port congestion and bad weather conditions at Northern China Ports of Shanghai, Qingdao and Ningbo have led to vessel departure and arrival delays ultimately resulting in missed berthing windows at destination terminals, most notably for vessels calling at the Port of Vancouver.

In addition, in order to avoid terminal yard congestion caused by the lack of adequate rail car supply, ground counts are being kept to a manageable level by delaying some of the scheduled vessel berths in Vancouver by up to 7 days. The berthing delays, coupled with increased dwell times, are resulting in longer transit times that are continuing to be felt across the supply chain.

Meanwhile, the Port of Prince Rupert, since completion of their intermodal rail construction project in November 2017, has found it difficult to clean up the backlog that was created from that project. Partly due to extreme cold weather in the Canadian prairies, derailments, mudslides, a tsunami warning, hazardous container spills, etc., trains have been limited to 1 or 2 trains a day simply due to network congestion.

In order to alleviate some of the pressure in Prince Rupert COSCO has announced that they will be re-routing Canadian cargo originally destined for Montreal, Toronto, Calgary and Edmonton via Prince Rupert to CENTERM in Vancouver over the next 3-4 weeks in order to assist with the terminal congestion clean up. The following vessels/voyages are the latest to be impacted by the diversion tactics:

Vessel / Voyage ETA Prince Rupert ETA Vancouver
E.R. Texas v.009N February 5, 2018 February 8, 2018
Xin Da Yang Zhou v.031N February 10, 2018 February 14, 2018
CSCL Summer v.013N February 17, 2018 February 21, 2018

On the East Coast dwell times at the Port of Halifax have increased steadily over the last few weeks and it has been reported that due to expected adverse weather conditions in Atlantic Canada today terminals at the Port of Halifax will be closed today. Ground counts have increased not only due to recent bad weather conditions but also due to limited rail car supply.

Overall, the result of implementing shorter trains (CN winter program) and not having enough rail cars in their network has had a significant impact on port/ terminal productivity and fluidity on both coasts and is impacting cargo destined for inland points throughout the country.

Delmar will continue to work closely with all stakeholders to ensure all shipments are delivered to their final destination in the most time efficient manner, however delays can be expected due to the abovementioned.

Additional information may be obtained by contacting your local Delmar representative.

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