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July 12, 2023
Lori Ann LaRocco

Vessel diversions plus containers on other vessels being reassigned as U.S. cargo will add volume to the US. rail system, according to Paul Brashier, vice president of drayage and intermodal at ITS Logistics. It will also add time and charges such as additional rail fees, customs fees, and port handling fees.

The drop in trade is a reflection of the vessels that have left Vancouver and Prince Rupert to divert their cargo to the United States. The volume of trade being disrupted has sparked supply chain concerns in the U.S.

ITS has switched both the U.S. West Coast and East Coast rail ramps to red in its freight index, signaling future congestion as a result of the strike.

“As container wait times in Western Canada increase due to the duration of the strike, that freight will overwhelm rail lines and ramps when it finally starts to transfer from the ocean terminals to the interior point rail ramps,” Brashier said.

VesselsValue data shows 14 container vessels currently anchored offshore at Vancouver and Prince Rupert, containing $7.6 billion in trade.

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