Important Rail Cargo Updates – February 13, 2020

As a result of the continued protester blockades on Canadian National (CN) Rail lines in the provinces of British Columbia, Ontario and now Manitoba, Delmar is issuing the following advisory containing important cargo options:

  • Delmar has suspended all new bookings into the port of Prince Rupert until further notice. Cargo that currently remains in the port of Prince Rupert may possibly be secured and moved by truck. Moreover, Delmar will divert all cargo from Asia (excluding the Indian Subcontinent and Southeast Asia) to carriers who are utilizing Canadian Pacific (CP) Railway, whose network remains unaffected
  • Cargo currently on CN Rail tracks will be subjected to CN’s ability to restore services, leaving Delmar with no options other than to monitor future developments. Representatives from both the British Columbia and Federal governments earlier today announced that they have agreed to meet with Indigenous groups behind the protest, in an effort to expedite a resolution. The meetings, which are scheduled for Saturday, contain the understanding that the protests will be halted. Regardless, CN explained today that it will likely take significant time to restore fluid and normal rail service for cargo
  • While not being subjected to blockades, Delmar anticipates that the port of Vancouver may suffer from further congestion while the CN recovery process is undertaken. As such, expect current long dwell times in Vancouver to escalate. Transit times for both FCL and LCL cargo will therefore likely suffer from delays for the foreseeable future
  • In anticipation of the need to address more urgent shipments, Delmar will offer FCL Sea-Truck services from the port of Vancouver, with expected transit times to be approximately 17 to 21 days. In addition, Delmar will offer LCL Sea-Truck services by booking LCL cargo to Vancouver and then arranging trucking from Vancouver to our customers across Mid and Eastern Canadian zones.
  • Delmar will also continue to offer an All-Water service from China to the port of Montreal, with transit times of approximately 45 to 50 days

It’s important to note that Sea-Truck bookings cargo will not arrive at Vancouver ports for at least the next three weeks. Should the CN Rail network situation stabilize quickly with no further disruptions, importers will have the option to divert cargo back to regular rail service.

In order to manage the booking process efficiently, Delmar advises its customers to carefully monitor their booking notifications through our Delmar Cargo Management System (DCMS) platform, and to request modified bookings to adjust shipping needs.

As it relates to the Indian Subcontinent and some points in Southeast Asia, all new shipments destined for Eastern Canada will now be directed to the port of Halifax; if rail service remains an issue, the cargo will be delivered to final destination by truck.

Full pricing will be made available on all these services very shortly. 

To discuss all cargo shipping options, please contact your local Delmar Representative.

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