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Port of Vancouver congestion worsens

More than 50 ships were waiting on Monday to unload at the beleaguered Port of Vancouver, still dealing with the impacts of a major storm two weeks ago and ongoing rain that continues to set back reconstruction efforts in the province of British Columbia. A provincial state of emergency has now been extended to December 14.

Rail and road links from the port to the rest of the country remain an issue, meaning that containers are backing up at the port’s terminals. To help tackle that challenge, the federal government is providing more than C$4m to prepare an undeveloped 40-acre industrial site to temporarily store empty containers.

The federal and provincial governments have established a joint supply chain recovery working group to help prioritize efforts to support supply chain operations, and launched a survey to gather stakeholder input to that process. The governments have asked shippers to exercise restraint in seeking to send non-essential goods into or through B.C.’s Lower Mainland.

Canadian National Railway, one of Canada’s two major rail lines, shut down its service in the region on Monday.

“After moving seven trains during the weekend, CN took the decision to proactively close its network as the large amounts of precipitation into British Columbia were causing increased debris, washout and landslide activity,” the company said. The Port of Vancouver noted in an update that “a timeline for restored rail operations through the site is currently unavailable.” In the meantime, CN is sharing the Vancouver-Kamloops line of its competitor, Canadian Pacific Railway.

CN has diverted some rail traffic to the Port of Prince Rupert, further to the north along the Pacific coast. Prince Rupert has not been affected by the recent weather events.

Drivers at two Port of Vancouver trucking companies issued a strike notice this week. However, one of the companies, Aheer Transportation, has now reached a tentative agreement with the drivers. Approximately 120 drivers at Prudential Transportation will begin a strike on Friday if the company does not settle their dispute before then.

Kim Biggar

Kim Biggar started writing in the supply chain sector in 2000, when she joined the Canadian Association of Supply Chain & Logistics Management. In 2004/2005, she was project manager for the Government of Canada-funded Canadian Logistics Skills Committee, which led to her 13-year role as communications manager of the Canadian Supply Chain Sector Council. A longtime freelance writer, Kim has contributed to publications including The Forwarder, 3PL Americas, The Shipper Advocate and Supply Chain Canada.


  1. I am a trucker at the Port of Vancouver, and tried to pickup a container yesterday, and was told that my container was picked up by another trucker from the same company I work with then I told dispatch, and he arranged an appointment for me to pickup a different container, but once I got to the outgate at centerm they wouldn’t let me take it because my information didn’t match with the the container even though centerm told my dispatcher that it did. They made me remove the container, and also banned me for the day, so I missed out on 2 other moves that I would have made to and from centerm that day. They said I tried to switch tickets with the other driver. I didn’t do anything, or conspire to do anything. The helpful foreman threatened to ban me for a month from centerm. I have been working the Port of Vancouver for over 20 years. I know what I am doing, and would never knowingly do anything wrong to piss these idiots off. The longshoremen at centerm don’t give a rats behind about trying to move containers off the Port, all they care about is if they can ban you. I forgot to mention, prior to picking the container that was removed from my chassis I had spoken with the other foreman who had said I could take the replacement can because it was going to the same customer. I would like to say that these idiots that work at centerm only care about the power trip they are on, and do everything in their power to waste your time, and make your life difficult. They don’t care if the customer gets their can. They don’t care how polite you are. They are just the vilest scum of the earth that won a lottery ticket for a high paying lifetime job.

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