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Pipeline protests cripple rail and port operations across Canada

Supply chains are coming under huge pressure in Canada after close to three weeks of demonstrations led by a local tribe fighting a proposed pipeline. While some of the country is slowly getting back to normal, operations at ports and rail lines in Quebec remain deeply troubled.

According to an update from German carrier Hapag-Lloyd yesterday the blockades of key rail track and port infrastructure facilities throughout Canada continue. Hapag-Lloyd noted CP Rail tracks remain comparatively clear and the port of Prince Rupert is now clear and recovery is underway.

“The blockade in Ontario remains in place, and CN’s Eastern Canadian network is more or less shutdown. A limited number of trains are operating in the Halifax/Montreal corridor. Various options to move /divert cargo out of Halifax are being explored,” Hapag-Lloyd reported.

The protests started by indigenous communities angry at a planned gas pipeline mooted for northern British Columbia.

The port of Vancouver has reported the demonstrations have led to a growing ship backlog with 48 vessels at its anchorage as of yesterday.

Out east, the port of Montreal has warned it might have to suspend operations as containers pile up due to the rail blockades.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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