Trouble brewing at CN Brampton Terminal

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TORONTO, Ont. — CIFFA reports members’ cartage providers are having difficulty picking up containers from the Brampton CN yard.

The Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association reports impromptu picket lines (off the CN property) are apparently making it difficult to circumnavigate.
Leaflets are being handed out to protest the extreme long waiting times for truckers (from three to eight hours) to receive a container.

CIFFA predicts the whole situation may come to a partial or total standstill again as early as today or latest by tomorrow.

Though CN has a court order in place forbidding any picketing on their properties, tempers are rising quickly, making it potentially unsafe for any truckers to cross the imaginary picket line that may form in the future.

CIFFA says eyewitnesses report that yesterday afternoon there were some 100 trucks standing in line for pick-ups and tempers were rising steadily, thereby increasing accidents. Reportedly the air was also heavily affected by the continuous spewing of diesel exhaust.

Police presence has been increased, but CIFFA is predicting trouble in the near future.

Officials say the appointment system introduced recently has so far not had any positive effect on reducing waiting times.

CIFFA is therefore urging its members to request their liner partners exercise more pressure on CN, to solve the ever-increasing problem.

The freight forwarders association has also published the following list of demands submitted by carriers:

1. Change CN schedule to 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. servicing trucks with containers only;
2. From 11 p.m. to 4 a.m. work the rail cars maintaining 24-hour status for small percentage of carriers;
3. Apply for ISO classification to improve service levels ;
4. Willingly subject to three-month interval inspections to assure changes are being complied with ;
5. Scrap reservation system – it’s only added stress to industry, service has not improved;
6. Dangerous Goods Gate 1 only, and five other gates open 5 a.m. – 5 p.m. to ocean container traffic;
7. Maintain two or three gates open 5 p.m. to 5 a.m. for ocean containers;
8. Visible sign on lift machine stating if servicing trucks or cars at all;
9. Lift machines placed at key areas, i.e. reefer section during high volume times;
10. Open dialogue with carriers before implementing changes;
11. Paying waiting time direct to carriers for service failures in terminal;
12. Move domestic freight away from Intermodal Terminal;
13. More staff on HEO’s – run maximum available lift machines 24 hours or add more machines and more staff;
14. Must provide free water and washroom facilities to drivers waiting more than one hour;
15. Bring back the pick up truck from Help Desk and reactivate cell phone.

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