Rail hubs and local warehouses in Toronto and Montreal are suffering congestion problems due to a shortage of drayage capacity for receiving cargo from Prince Rupert and Vancouver. As a result, West Coast ports are feeling the pressure, with rail dwells at marine terminals elevated and the inland movement of Asian imports slowing.
Due to the congestion at inland facilities, railroads are metering, which restricts the number of containers moved to Vancouver and Prince Rupert. Metering is done to prevent overwhelming a terminal with cargo. Reduced train capacity is causing rail containers to back up at the marine terminals; however, marine terminals are fluid, and rail dwell times change daily.
According to a Canadian National (CN) statement, “The drayage and warehouse capacity constraints in Toronto and Montreal have become so chronic that we are now in a situation of a potential back-up for some time until this gets addressed.”
Canadian Pacific (CP) says that the main issue in the supply chain is long-dwelling containers at the inland rail ramps. “To maintain network efficiency, all participants in the supply chain must work together to pick up and return equipment promptly.”