Perfect storm of problems cause drayage chaos

February 19, 2019 – Canaan Transport’s drayage carriers have expressed their concern that the container transportation sector has been facing severe challenges that are leading to inefficient supply chains and increased, unsustainable costs. There is extreme frustration in the entire dray community, which has been communicated to us. The inflexibility of ocean carriers and terminals with storage costs, detention or demurrage costs have certainly caused additional angst as bad weather over the winter of 2018-2019 has led to major delays in retrieving and returning containers at rail terminals.

There is an extreme frustration at the lack of communication from the rail industry, about the movement of containers from one rail terminal to another, without warning, the lack of appointments, the resulting storage fees, lack of communication to find out where empties are to be returned, driver wait times, additional runs to bring the empties back to the carrier yard, all leading to the drayage carriers’ inability to absorb costs for rail storage, dead runs, demurrage, and pre-pulls.

In one example, the carrier asked the steamship line to get involved but was told, in essence, to bill the customer for any idling or delays eventually leading to storage.

The following are some of the major issues that we have been facing:

· Extreme cold temperatures for two weeks in a row caused considerably more breakdowns than usual.

· Containers being moved between CN BIT and CN MALPORT with either no notice or very little notice and, as a result of these moves, “storage dates are being changed and often advanced rather than postponed,” carriers said.

· A major snowfall pushing all of these things over the edge. Drivers arriving at customers’ yards to find no clean driveways, causing, in the best case scenario, a 2-3 hr wait time just to drop a load, in worst case scenario, a dead run and returned loads for re-delivery once driveways were clean.

· Although Canaan Transport continues to accept new orders, many are not, which is resulting in a mad scramble to locate capacity.

We continue to do our best and we ask for your patience during these trying times.

Inclement weather in Toronto and Montreal continues today

February 13, 2019 – Continued winter conditions will hamper pickups and deliveries in Eastern Canada today as the snow storm hits its 2nd day. Although our offices are open, we urge patience as our drivers navigate the streets that are near white out conditions. If you have any concerns, please call us at 416.621.6800.

Montreal terminal encountering signficant delays

February 11, 2019 – There is an approximate 3 hours waiting time at Montreal terminal : MAISONNEUVE 68. If you would like to have your delivery re-scheduled, please contact our office. We appreciate your patience and cooperation. THIS TIME REPRESENTS THE TIME WAITING OUTSIDE THE GATE AND NOT IN THE TERMINAL.

Port of Montreal congestion fees to become reality

February 6, 2019 – The Port of Montreal is currently experiencing heavy congestion negatively affecting operations in and around the port. This has been further exacerbated by recent weather conditions. Maersk Line has now announced that in an effort to offset some of the additional costs associated with this, they plan to introduce a Congestion Fee Destination (CFD) for ALL CARGO discharging at Montreal, CA, effective 08-February-2019 (cargo receipt) for Non-Regulated Countries and 06-March-2019 for Regulated Countries. More news as it develops.

Toronto office closed for weather event

February 6, 2019 – Due to extreme weather and freezing rain our office in Toronto will be closed today. Please call our office at 416.621.6800 if you have any urgent matters. Thank you for your patience.

Toronto and Montreal weather delays

January 30, 2019 – As Eastern Canada continues to dig out from the record snowstorm, we ask our customers for patience as deliveries and pickups are delayed as we catch up from the past few days.

GCT Vanterm to experience delays due to accident

January 29, 2019 – Yesterday morning during vessel berthing, at approximately 04:00 hours, the vessel EVER SUMMIT came into contact with a ship-to-shore crane at GCT Vanterm, resulting in damage. There were no injuries as a result of the incident and all authorities have been notified. The EVER SUMMIT is currently being held alongside with tugs as the crane boom is on top of a container stack at the aft end. While the situation is being assessed, an exclusion zone has been set up to, first and foremost, ensure the safety of everyone at the terminal, and then to determine operational impacts. No vessel operations are active at GCT Vanterm at present, but rail and gate operations are active. Customers with shipments on board this vessel are advised that delays will be significant due to the damage caused.

Yantian Express now has General Average declared

January 29, 2019 – Hapag-Lloyd has formally declared general average on its fire-stricken Yantian Express. A fire broke out in a container stowed on the 7,500 teu vessel en route to the Canadian port of Halifax early this month, which spread to other boxes while heavy weather rendered the crew’s fire-fighting efforts fruitless, forcing them to abandon ship. Ocean-going tugs have spent the subsequent weeks trying to bring the fire under control and the vessel is currently under tow, headed for Bahamas Freeport. The 2002-built, 320-metre vessel sails under a German flag in the East Coast Loop 5 (EC5) service, which connects South-east Asia with the east coast of North America. A customer advisory said: “In conjunction with declaring general average, the owners will appoint average adjusters, responsible for coordinating the collection of general average securities and all documentation required from parties with interest in cargo, containers, vessel, and fuel. “Cargo interests (or their insurance companies) should plan to contact the average adjusters directly once they are appointed.” Canaan Transport has and continues to assist customers with cargo on this vessel. It added that information on which documents the average adjusters will require would then be supplied. General average is declared after casualties which threaten the safety of a vessel and its cargo and allows the costs of preserving a vessel and its cargo in such extreme circumstances to be shared among the shipowner and its customers. This means that before cargo can be released, all cargo owners are required to contribute to a general average fund.

New federal program to attrack truck drivers into smaller communities

January 28, 2019 – The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, yesterday announced the creation of the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot, a five-year federal immigration pilot involving a small number of communities and selected provincial and territorial governments to provide newcomers, including professional truck drivers, support in settling into the local community. In media scrums, the minister expressed what the trucking industry wanted to hear about truck drivers: “(This program) is not just a temporary foreign worker program. It’s a permanent program to give permanent residency to skilled immigrants and their families.” The Minister Hussen went on to explain that immigrants will be chosen for the pilot by matching their occupational skills with the needs of their communities and could include any number of professions, from truck drivers to teachers to lab technicians. He estimated that about 3,000 people and their families could participate in the pilot. This is welcome news to address the chronic driver shortage in Canada.

Toronto and Montreal office early closures

January 28, 2019 – Our Toronto and Montreal offices will close early today to allow our team members to get home safely. A severe winter storm is currently hitting these regions and white out conditions are expected to last throughout the afternoon and late evening. All customers with scheduled pickups and deliveries have been notified of the delays and our contingency plans to transport their cargo. Our phone line are still active and forwarded to our management team. If you have any urgent requests, please call us at 416.621.6800 or e-mail us at operations. We anticipate that our offices will reopen for normal business hours tomorrow.