Due to what it described as “operational challenges” and “significant congestion” at Centerm container terminal in Vancouver, Maersk has alerted shippers of provisional changes in scheduled calls. They point to potential impacts on activities at other Pacific Northwest terminals in Vancouver, Prince Rupert, and Seattle.
“We continue to face operational challenges at Centerm in Vancouver,” Maersk stated. “We are experiencing longer than usual vessel wait times for Transpacific services TP1 and TP9, as well as additional delays for the rail traffic due to the lack of space to discharge containers.”
The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority today indicated that dwell times at two of its container facilities (Centerm and Fraser Surrey Docks) were currently exceeding seven days, compared with 3-5 days at Deltaport and 5-7 days at Vanterm.
Terminals on the West Coast of Canada have experienced berthing delays in recent weeks due to inland network congestion, particularly in Toronto and Montreal, Maersk noted.
“As these inland terminals became congested, the supply of rail cars to the terminals were restricted/stopped. This situation has had a detrimental impact on the terminals which are not designed for storing containers. Despite the projected expansions in both Vancouver and Prince Rupert, the terminal throughput hasn’t increased.”
“The above factors have led to longer than usual vessel wait time for our Transpacific services (TP1 and TP9) as well as additional delays for the rail traffic due to lack of space to discharge containers at Centerm.”
To help alleviate the congestion at Centerm and ensure efficient movement of cargo, Maersk is currently taking the following necessary steps:
- Alignment of TP9 sailings from Asia to match the cadence at Centerm.
- Evaluation of every TP9 vessel in the queue for possible changes to rotation. This includes calling Seattle first in the rotation. Since July we have done this with all vessels except the Tyndall.
- Inducement of TP9 at Prince Rupert for discharge of all Vancouver rail cargo. These vessels include Tyndall 219N, Maersk Singapore 229N, Anna Maersk 226N and Maersk Laberinto 220N.
- Actively pursuing other options such as transshipping over Seattle and utilizing other terminals in Vancouver including Delta Port and Fraser Surrey Docks. (VFPA photo of Centerm container terminal)