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Railways unable to keep up with demand at Vancouver ports

VANCOUVER, B.C. -- Rail congestion at Deltaport and TSI Terminal Systems has resulted in a backlog of 200,000 feet...


VANCOUVER, B.C. — Rail congestion at Deltaport and TSI Terminal Systems has resulted in a backlog of 200,000 feet of import containers.

The port has declared a state of ‘Force Majeure’ regarding the situation, according to a recent release by the Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association (CIFFA).

"This state of Force Majeure will continue until such time as the rail congestion backlog decreases to a level that allows the terminal to recommence normal vessel and gate operations," announced TSI Terminal Systems.

For their part, the railways have said poor weather has impacted their ability to serve the port. But the CIFFA says it’s not a valid explanation.

"In this context it is sort of ironic to read a bulletin issued by CN saying ‘Although the operations remain fluid throughout our network…they are affected by bad weather influences,’" reports CIFFA. "In our eyes, either a system is fluid or it is not. It is unfortunate that CN still resorts to such platitudes rather than help the market place by being straightforward about certain conditions. Such statements leave great room for interpretation and subtly shift the blame on the ‘innocent’ such as ocean carriers and intermediaries."

CN has also said the port is receiving a higher number of containers because of increased ship discharges earlier in the month. The railway also said the backlog should soon be cleared.

TSI Terminals has expressed concern that if the situation doesn’t soon come to an end, ships will have to be diverted to U.S. ports.


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