Terminal delays enrage container haulers

TORONTO — Container haulers in the southern Ontario market are fed up with long delays at intermodal rail terminals. Ted Driehuis, Chairman of the Toronto-based Container Carriers Association, says his members have “had to endure intolerable waiting times over the past six months… This waiting time costs us all of a lot of money and angry customers.”

Following an emergency meeting in November, CCA members decided to enlist the help of their clients to bring pressure to bear on the two railways. A letter outlining their frustration has been sent to contacts at steamship lines, freight forwarders and customs brokers. It proposed a meeting between the carriers and their clients, to be arranged for mid-December, “to acquaint them with the seriousness of the situation and seek their assistance with the rails,” the letter says.

CCA members had met with rail officials in October to discuss the severe service delays being experienced at the various rail terminal facilities in the Greater Toronto Area. But, in spite of lengthy discussions, the carriers came away with no assurances that things would improve.

Among the costs to carriers of these delays is difficulty in recruiting and retaining experienced drivers, “many of whom flatly refuse any dispatch involving the rail terminals,” the CCA letter says. “The list of complaints is growing each day and threatens to get completely out of hand.”

This is not a new situation. Driehuis, who runs Maple Leaf Cartage in Toronto, led a similar campaign to reduce rail terminal delays several years ago. That effort resulted in some improvements, but the situation has deteriorated badly in the ensuing years.

Contact: Ted Driehuis at 416-252-9979

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