Marine Atlantic clearing commercial cargo backlog

CORNER BROOK — Marine Atlantic is just about done wading through the backlog of commercial trailer traffic that has been piling up on its dock for the past two weeks.

On Nov. 26 a crack was found at the upper level ramp at the Port aux Basques terminal, causing delays and cancellations at the North Sydney side of the marine link.

Since then, all three vessels had been operating at a "load-and-go basis" (weather permitting) with no commercial trailers being loaded on the upper decks of the vessels, reports the Western Star newspaper.

Marine Atlantic insists a reservation system
would help minimize service disruptions

On Friday, however, the North Sydney- Port aux Basques service had repaired the issue and with all ferries in full operation, it promised to completely clear the backlog by early this week.

Reports last week indicated that commercial traffic — much of it carrying perishable food items — had spilled along Highway 105. The line of tractor-trailers was reportedly more than a mile long at some points last week.

Many truckers blamed the Crown corporation for not having contingencies in place.

But Jim Roche, Marine Atlantic’s general manager, said the service has been in discussions with trucking carriers on the creation of a commercial reservation system. But so far, he said, interest from the industry has been minimal.

He said such a system would mitigate the impact of similar disruptions.

Meanwhile Liberal MP Gerry Byrne is demanding compensation for truckers affected by the service disruption.


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