After being hit by heavy rains, the Port of Vancouver in Canada reported that the Port of Vancouver rail service has been suspended due to flooding of the rail tracks in the interior of British Columbia. At the same time, the port is struggling to cope with the surge in cargo.
Floods and landslides in British Columbia cut off all rail services at the Port of Vancouver, and the port chief warned on Tuesday that there will be ship delays and terminal operations interrupted.
The British Columbia Department of Transportation posted a photo on Twitter on the 16th, showing that large tracts of land under railway tracks in various parts of the province were washed away by floods. Both Canadian Pacific Railway and Canadian National Railways confirmed that they had been forced to suspend rail services in British Columbia due to damaged tracks.
Port Vancouver spokesperson Matti Polychronis told Reuters: “Due to flooding in the interior of British Columbia, all rail services to and from the Port of Vancouver have been suspended.” Transportation of all cargo from containers to bulk commodities will face delays.
Matti Polychronis also said: “Due to the interruption of terminal operations, ship delays are expected to increase and anchorage demand will increase. We are working closely with terminal operators, railway companies and governments at all levels to understand the impact of these delays on terminal operations and formulate Recovery plan."
From November 14th to 15th, the western part of Canada suffered a heavy rainstorm equivalent to one month of rainfall in less than 24 hours, and one of Canada’s largest crude oil pipelines was also forced to suspend operations.
At the time of the interruption, the Port of Vancouver reported that there were 61 ships in the port yesterday (November 16), of which 23 were at berths and the other 33 were waiting at anchorages, including 6 container ships at berth. And 6 container ships waiting at the anchorage.
This is the second time that the Port of Vancouver has suffered a rail service disruption this year. In July, wildfires swept parts of British Columbia, and the city was enveloped in thick smoke. Further east, in the interior of the province, which is now flooded, the fire damaged parts of the two main railway tracks and suspended trains in and out of the Port of Vancouver for nearly two weeks.
No one can be sure how long this interruption will last. The railway has limited options for changing train routes on sections of the affected area. Some shippers said they hope to restore at least limited services before this weekend. However, some people indicated that it might be interrupted for several weeks. The railway company said it was too early to make a judgment before they reached the affected section.
Here is a reminder that freight forwarders who have recently traded with Canada should pay attention to the logistics situation in a timely manner.