Cosco Shipping Lines sends four of its cargo vessels to Vancouver to alleviate congestion at the Port of Prince Rupert. (Shannon Lough / The Northern View)

Port experiences growing pains, causing Cosco and Maersk to divert cargo south

Vessels will go through Vancouver terminal to alleviate congestion at the Port of Prince Rupert

Cosco Shipping Lines and Maersk have diverted four of their vessels from the Port of Prince Rupert to Vancouver’s terminal after experiencing what the company called “major congestion” due to the expansion project.

The port usually boasts its timely movement of cargo through an uncongested terminal with dwell times of an average of two days or less. But in the last couple of weeks, dwell times have grown to three and seven days.

“The number one factor is a surge in import volumes coming through the terminal,” said Kris Schumacher, communications coordinator for the Port of Prince Rupert.

The port authority recently celebrated the completion of the Fairview expansion project, and import volumes have soared. August was a record month for the terminal that handled more than 875,000 tonnes of cargo, a 37 per cent increase from the same month in the previous year.

“That’s a lot of containers coming through, and the incident that we had down there, which stopped work and then Labour Day following directly after that set things back a bit,” Schumacher said.

The ‘incident’ halted operations at Fairview Terminal on Sept. 3 until Sept. 5 after 11 employees experienced symptoms of respiratory and eye irritation in the container yard and were sent to the Prince Rupert Regional Hospital. Few other details were released from the terminal operator, DP World.

RELATED: FAIRVIEW TERMINAL HALTS OPERATIONS AFTER INCIDENT INVOLVING 11 WORKERS

On Sept. 13, Cosco advised its customers that “in order to alleviate congestion at the terminal and to reduce the impact on the movement of your cargo” that four vessels originally destined for Toronto, Montreal, Edmonton and Calgary via Prince Rupert will be diverted to DP World’s Vancouver Centerm terminal first. This is a temporary fix until the port’s terminal expansion work is completed.

Although the port celebrated the completion of its Phase 2 expansion project on Aug. 29, there are still some on-going construction activities that have caused backlog, according to Cosco’s customer advisory. Another contributing factor to the congestion is that CN is adding more dock rail track.

The port is working with CN, DP World, its customers and shippers to bring dwell times back down to its standard of three days or less. Schumacher said they hope by the end of the week that they’ll be back down to dwell times of four days and to improve from there.

For the next four weeks, the four cargo vessels, Xin Ou Zhou, CSCL America, Xin Fei Zhou and CSCL Oceania will go through Vancouver’s terminal to save transportation time.

Just Posted

City council briefs: Cannabis shop, Metlakatla venture and budget consultation

Prince Rupert council meets on March 25 for the Committee of the Whole

Terrace death not considered suspicious at this time: RCMP

Body of 49-year-old man was found in wooded area near Olson Ave. March 22

Pick-up truck crashes into nail salon entrance on McBride

Prince Rupert police say driver’s vision was obstructed by loose papers inside the vehicle

Three people from Prince Rupert area recovering from shellfish poisoning

Butter clams harvested in November 2018 could cause paralytic shellfish poisoning

Photos of Rumors on stage in Prince Rupert

Community theatre took on Neil Simon’s comedy from March 21-23 at the Lester Centre

Rupert’s greens ready for golf season

VIDEO: Prince Rupert Golf Club is open for 2019 with turf that weathered well over winter

Is it a homicide? B.C. woman dies in hospital, seven months after being shot

Stepfather think Chilliwack case should now be a homicide, but IHIT has not confirmed anything

Indecent caller handed 18-month conditional sentence

Vancouver Island man pleaded guilty to making indecent phone and video calls to women across B.C.

Sources say Trudeau rejected Wilson-Raybould’s conservative pick for high court

Wilson-Raybould said Monday “there was no conflict between the PM and myself”

First Nations public art piece stolen in Nanaimo

Spindle Whorl went missing over the weekend, according to Nanaimo RCMP

Father-son duo at B.C. Children’s Hospital helps new dads fight depression

The pair teamed up to introduce the only known research-based mindfulness workshop for new dads

Mexican restaurant in B.C. told to take down Mexican flag

General manager of Primo’s Mexican Grill in White Rock: ‘I’ve never heard of anything like this’

B.C. NDP moves to provide tax credits, tax cut for LNG Canada

Provincial sales tax break of $596 million repayable after construction

COLUMN: Smart phone too powerful a tool to yank from students’ hands

Rather than ban them from schools, let’s teach kids to harness their phone’s power and use it properly

Most Read