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Stop and Read the Documents
Rail lines in the B.C. Interior that provide critical transport links for goods and material shipped in and out of the Port of Vancouver are operational but operating at reduced volume, according to a trans-loading company in Vancouver.
CN and CP rail lines have faced disruptions — shut temporarily or slowed down — as a result of wildfire that destroyed the town of Lytton more than two weeks ago and more recently when a wildfire came close to rail lines.
“Right now, my best description of the rail services would be intermittent and reduced capacity,” said Jordan Atkins, vice-president at WTC Group Inc.
The company provides services to export and import customers that move products through the Vancouver port and has trans-loading facilities in Port Coquitlam, Delta and New Westminster. WTC handles materials such as grain, plastic, pulp and lumber for export and all kinds of merchandise on import.
Atkins noted the impact on rail lines from the wildfires has caused transport congestion in Metro Vancouver, with ships facing delays to be unloaded and delays in getting cargo through the port for export.
Atkins expects it will take a few weeks to clear the backlogs.
“We’re going to have some pretty elastic band effects here where our terminals are extremely full right now, but there’s nothing in the pipeline on the export side. And our terminals are extremely empty on the import side, but we’re needing to get that cargo in from the vessel,” he explained.
The Port of Vancouver noted for its July 15 update that “anchorage demand remains high and anchorage assignments are near capacity.”
A group representing lumber manufacturers in B.C. said producers had already seen inventories build up at their mill sites for a few weeks before CN announced its suspension.
“Rail is the lifeblood of our industry,” Council of Forest Industries CEO Susan Yurkovich said and “if this goes on for a long period of time, it could influence production at our facilities.”
This article first appeared on vancouversun.com
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