DP World Vancouver, which operates the Centerm terminal in downtown Vancouver, British Columbia, said that starting Aug. 8, it will not allow discharge of U.S. bound intermodal rail cargo.
"DP World Vancouver is still experiencing an extremely high discharge volume of U.S. cargoes. This, combined with a Canadian cargo increase and rail car supply that does not meet the discharging volumes" led to the restrictions, the company explained in a letter to customers.
"To date, we have over 78,000 feet of rail cargo on the facility. This is an increase of 20,000 feet over the same day last week, with roughly 50,000 feet of U.S. traffic," it said.
The ports of Vancouver and Prince Rupert, British Columbia, as well as ports on the U.S. East Coast, have seen an uptick in container cargo because of cargo being diverted from U.S. West Coast ports while negotiations continue between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and employers on a new contract to replace the one that expired July 1.
The company said starting with the arrival of the Westwood Shipping Lines' Westwood Rainier,
all U.S. cargo will not be allowed to discharge unless it is "destined for Truck/CY Out."
DP World also said that as of August 1, "all demurrage will be waived on any rail container diverted to truck and removed from the facility," but that "yard rehandles are still for the account of the line."
The company said, "The hardship and extra cost is understandable. However, with the terminal currently operating over its designed operating capacity, we are left with this hard decision to make."
DP World said it would "rescind these restrictions when sufficient room has been made in the terminal to allow the operation to resume."
Vancouver's largest terminal operator, GCT Global Container Terminals and its subsidiary TSI Terminal Systems, Inc., said its Deltaport and Vanterm container facilities in Port Metro Vancouver will continue to provide terminal services connecting cargo for rail bound for the U.S.
"The U.S. gateway is a key component of the port's business. Presently, CN Rail has agreed allocations with our customers, the ocean carriers, on the volumes of US gateway freight they can load. This followed significant increases in U.S.-bound freight, above levels forecast by the carriers that would have outstripped rail car supply. Similar allocations have been agreed for cargo transiting Prince Rupert," said Stephen Edwards, the chief executive officer of GCT.
"During this period of uncertainty on U.S. West Coast labor negotiations, TSI fully intends to provide terminal services connecting our customers’ U.S.-destined cargo to the railroads, with all parties acting in line with allocations," he added.