Vancouver Port: Congestion Caused by Wildfires in BC

If you’ve been keeping up with the news, you’ve probably heard about the raging wildfires present in British Columbia in Canada for the past several days. The wildfires have been relentless, forcing evacuations as well as re-routes for traffic in all affected areas.

Unfortunately, the shipping industry is not exempt from the effects of the wildfires. Currently, the ocean port of Vancouver is beginning to feel the ripple effect of the wildfires. Currently, an estimated 39 ships are at anchor awaiting unloading.

The effects of the Vancouver ocean port congestion are also negatively affecting the rail terminals. Trains are subject to major slow-downs and delays, with reports indicating some have been docked up to a week.

As you may have guessed, the rail port congestion has another adverse effect on outgoing ocean port congestion as additional vessels await container activity.

Currently, there are no signs as to when the congestion may let up. Port officials are expecting the backup may last over a week before we start to see any improvement to the efficiency of cargo movement through the Vancouver ocean port and it’s associated rail terminals.

Through it all, one thing remains true – all modes of shipping work together, and when any one mode gets bogged down as a result of weather, market, or economic factors, it affects everything. The congestion at the ocean ports is affecting the ability to load and unload incoming and outgoing rail yards. The congested rail terminals cause for issues for draymen and truckers – not to mention the end buyers themselves.

If you’re finding yourself suffering as a result of this congestion, you’re not alone. Hundreds, perhaps even thousands of shippers are dealing with delays due to the wildfires in British Columbia, and everyone is working overtime to keep things moving. It just may be a while before full efficiency at the port of Vancouver is restored.

As you wait, now is a time to re-evaluate your future shipping plans and work on creating a strategic solution to re-route future cargo or change to air shipping for the time being. If you are struggling regarding where to start with revising your upcoming shipments, please don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our team members and ask any questions you may have. We’d love to hear your current experience and concerns, and offer advice for future shipments to help you avoid further delays.


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