Supply chains stalled as Vancouver reels from flooding

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Services in and out of the Port of Vancouver have experienced severe capacity restrictions following flooding throughout the Metro Vancouver and Fraser Valley regions.

On 18 November shipping line Hapag-Lloyd said flooding, landslides, and mudslides have forced several city evacuations in British Columbia and shut down key highway and rail routes into and out of Vancouver.

“Numerous track outages remain in effect impacting both Canada National (CN) and Canada Pacific (CP) Rail lines. CP and CN are not accepting containers for imports moving through Vancouver and are also not accepting export containers throughout their networks bound for the port of Vancouver,” the line noted.

On trucking disruptions, Highway 1, Highway 3 and Highway 5 (Coquihalla) and Highway 99, including some points located in the Eastern Fraser Valley are presently closed due to flooding and mud slides in these respective areas. 

There is no clear timeline for when the province’s highway network will be functional again.

Import truck pick up is still available at all marine terminals, however delays can be expected, depending on final destination of the cargo, Hapag-Lloyd wrote.

Both CN and CP crews are clearing debris and conducting repairs at multiple sites with progress being made in restoring some impacted rail sections.

A 17 November statement from the Port of Vancouver noted that a timeline for fully restored rail operations to the west coast is currently unavailable.

The port anticipates that vessel delays and heightened anchorage demand due to disrupted terminal operations are expected.

The government of British Columbia has declared a provincial state of emergency to protect those affected by flooding and landslides.

In a CP 17 November update, operations between Spences Bridge and Falls Creek, B.C., remain suspended following heavy rains that have resulted in multiple track outages.

“CP has deployed crews and equipment to the region, and CP engineering teams are working to repair the damaged rail corridor as quickly as possible where safe to do so,” the rail operator noted.

“There is no time estimate for when service will resume.

“CP is working closely with authorities, including the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, in our response to the situation. The safety of our employees and the public remains our priority.”

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