June 18, 2022 – CN Rail’s union that represents its Electrical Workers have now gone on strike after talks broke down. At this point in time, there are no significant delays encountered but more news will be issued as the situation develops.
June 16, 2022 – Some 750 Canadian National Railway employees are threatening to walk off the job beginning on Saturday. The company announced Wednesday evening that it received a 72-hour strike notice from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), which represents about 750 employees in Canada. CN says these employees intend to strike on June 18 at 11 am, despite its insistence that it has negotiated in good faith with the union. The company says it has offered to resolve numerous issues, such as wages and benefits, through binding arbitration. "CN remains optimistic that an agreement can be reached without a strike," the statement adds. If an agreement is not reached by Saturday, Canadian National notes it believes it will be able to "safely continue normal operations for as long as necessary."
May 29, 2022 – Container operations at the port of Shanghai are on the rebound. While many districts in the city continue to have reduced restrictions, Chinese officials are reporting that the port has nearly returned to productivity levels before the lockdowns that began at the end of March. The major shipping lines are similarly reporting levels of progress, expecting that further restrictions will be relaxed by the end of the current month.
May 21, 2022 – The cities of Toronto and Ottawa and the surrounding area have been hit by a large thunderstorm, causing power outages and a number of fatalities. Customers are advised that there will be delays in picking up and delivery containers when businesses return after the Victoria Day holiday.
May 2, 2022 – Many parts of Asia are currently on holiday this week but Chinese ports especially are under tremendous pressure due to the zero tolerance policy for covid. The largest issues remaining are the terminals handling capacity, lack of truck drivers and lack of truck availability due to the transport measures that have been enacted. This has caused a price hike in the cost for haulage and transports across many regions and has causes severe limitations for any haulage. Many suppliers are also negotiating with importers to change terms from FOB to EXW due to the hardship they are experiencing in trying to source trucking under FOB terms.
The city of Shanghai remains under lockdown and although reports are that the port terminals in Waigaoqiao and Yangshan are operating, there are stringent restrictions for any frontline port and terminal staff that are still in effect. These restrictions have greatly affected the ability for goods to be transported throughout Shanghai especially as some key highways usually used by truckers have also closed or have severely restricted access. This has greatly reduced the number of available truckers, equipment and transport options for exporters in Shanghai that are still able to produce. The situation has forced many trucks to be turned away from these surrounding provinces thus leaving large amounts of cargo stranded. The ongoing situation has forced carriers and carrier alliances to impact vessel services through implementation of additional blank sailings, restructuring of schedules, delays for departures and arrival and longer waiting times through all links of the supply chain. As such, we anticipate more delays for upcoming sailings as this will have substantial impact on ocean bookings throughout the region.
The obvious alternative routing is to ship via Ningbo but the situation in Ningbo continues to worsens with rising cases across the region. The situation in Shenzhen is faring only slightly better as there are still limitations for transport.
In Canada, we continue to experience some delays for west coast dwell times in Vancouver and Prince Rupert which is still about 2 weeks. The biggest factor appears to be when a vessel has docked and is offloaded, we are experiencing Terminal Delays (some more than others) in making the containers available for pick up as some are being put on block stow. Understandably, this can cause much frustration as to importers it can appear that vessel and containers have arrived but are still not available for pickup, delivery or furtherance by rail. In some instances, containers were not being made available for up to one month.
Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns about your upcoming shipments.
April 15, 2022 – AP Moller-Maersk A/S has stopped bookings to ship refrigerated containers into Shanghai as a strict COVID lockdown stalls the trucking of meat and seafood from the port into the city. Containers are piling up at the port of Shanghai due to supply chain disruptions caused by the lockdown, Ocean Network Express said in an advisory to customers on Thursday. The port is running out of electric plug slots to keep refrigerated containers cool, while trucking remains limited and terminals are congested, the container shipping line said. That has prompted Maersk to stop all new deliveries of refrigerated goods and some hazardous cargoes into Shanghai until further notice, the company said on Thursday. The company is waiving charges for customers to change the destination of their frozen goods already sailing to Shanghai.
April 5, 2022 – The city-wide lockdown of Shanghai has been extended until further notice. The port of Shanghai is only partially operational as the roads into and in Shanghai are largely closed. Truckers are unable to enter or leave Shanghai. Shops, public transport, restaurants and all but essential businesses are closed. All of the 25+ million inhabitants of the city have been ordered to stay at home until further notice. The relatively nearby port of Ningbo is operating normally but is conjested due to the impact of traffic rerouted from Shanghai.
April 4, 2022 – COVID lockdowns in China, war in Ukraine and the threat of hyper-inflation are a toxic mix of unpredictability for liner trades, but they have so far not had an impact on container freight rates.
Indeed, container spot rates are broadly in line with normal seasonal falls and, moreover, ocean carriers are succeeding in driving-through significant contract rate increases.
March 28, 2022 – Please see the following summary of the various port situations in China.
Shenzhen: All ports(Yantian, Shekou, Chiwan) are open. Off-dock yards in Yantian/Nansha/Shekou are re-opened. Some areas of Shenzhen resume work. Drivers still need to provide testing report in/out of the terminal which slow down the process of picking an returning the containers in that area. Dongguan was re-opened, but if the factories are in the closed areas in Huizhou, container loading is not possible. Overall, the situation is improving.
Shanghai: The whole Pudong district was shut down from 3/28 to 4/1 while Puxi will be shut down from 4/1 to 4/5 by Chinese government. So far, Ports are still open. The nucleic acid report cannot be released within 12hrs due to the surge of people are doing nucleic acid test at the same time which further reduces the trucking capacity. Container movement between Shanghai and nearby industrial areas in Jiangsu province are restricted. The situation is still developing, no re-opening schedule has been announced yet. Carriers are shifting more allocation to Ningbo port or the river ports on Yangtze River to fill up the ship.
Qingdao: Ports are open. Driver inter-city movement greatly constrained due to testing report requirements. There is 30% drop of trucking power. The whole city transportation process is slowing down.
Tianjin: Ports are open and port operation keeps normal. The COVID situation is severe, several areas are requested personnel nucleic acid test. Container movement around Cangzhou/Langfang/Bazhou/Tangshan are seriously restricted and waiting for further notice, most factories around these areas are locked down.
March 20, 2022 – CP Rail and its workers have not reached an agreement after the union and the company could not come to a negotiated settlement or agree to binding arbitration. The Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC), which represents the rail workers said employees will start picketing across the country. Workers are calling for better wages and pensions that they say will make the industry more attractive to younger workers.