December 17, 2021 | Circular No. 11372

Dear Member,

Although the most acute impacts of the flooding and mudslides that have inundated British Columbia over the past month have generally subsided, the supply chain is not expected to return to normal for some time to come, as the port and railways work to clear significant backlogs of cargo and full restoration of the highway network remains challenging. The most recent updates with respect to rail, truck and port operations in the region can be found below:


  • CP and CN mainlines between Vancouver and Kamloops are fully operational, with rail traffic transiting eastbound and westbound through the Fraser Canyon corridor. Enhanced track inspections and maintenance activities are ongoing and low-speed restrictions remain in place at various locations.


  • The BC Minister of Transportation has announced that the Coquihalla Highway (Highway 5) is now scheduled to re-open to essential traffic the afternoon of December 20, rather than in January as originally anticipated. In addition, the essential travel restrictions that are currently in place on Highway 3 will be lifted on December 21, as will the restrictions on Highway 99.


  • Although demand for anchorages at the Port of Vancouver remains high, levels have fallen off from those seen last week. According to today’s figures, there are currently 39 vessels at anchor (compared to a high of 60 last week), of which 15 are coal ships, 9 are grain and 6 are container.
  • The port continues to prepare a new 40-acre site in the Richmond area for the temporary handling and storage of empty containers, part of which may be ready to receive containers by next month.  The site is being developed as part of a $4.1 million funding announcement from the federal government.
  • In addition to the above, federal Transport Minister Omar Alghabra this week announced $8.7 million in funding for four new projects under the National Trade Corridors Fund to improve operational efficiencies at the port.  These include the development and implementation of technology to improve the management of containers flagged for inspection; the development of a digital platform for sourcing and managing empty containers; and the launch of an engineering study on improving rail capacity serving the port.

Although we are no longer issuing regular updates on the situation in B.C., we will continue to monitor developments on the ground and provide members with new information whenever relevant.


Karen Kancens
Vice President