August 22, 2022 | Circular No. 11453

Dear Member,

As many of you are aware, CN recently announced that some Montreal-destined import containers unloaded at Canada’s west coast ports will be diverted to CN’s facility in Valleyfield, Quebec (Port 0395 / sublocation 5969) rather than being handled at CN Taschereau, with a view to reducing inland congestion and freeing up berthing space at the ports in question.  It is our understanding that this process has been developed at the request of Transport Canada, which has been strongly urging supply chain stakeholders to find solutions to ongoing delays and congestion throughout the freight transportation system.

Given that the above has implications from a customs reporting perspective, CN has worked with CBSA to map out and clarify the reporting process for containers that are diverted to Valleyfield.  Under this process, the terminal operator at the discharge port will select a certain number of Montreal-bound containers from their grounded inventory for loading onto Valleyfield-destined rail cars.  The decision as to which containers are selected for diversion to Valleyfield is based on the terminal’s operational considerations and rail safety requirements. Once the Valleyfield containers have been selected, the terminal operator will advise CN of the diverted container numbers, and CN will then update the destination on the rail billing to show the final destination as Valterm (CN Valleyfield) and provide customers with a list of diverted containers within 24 hours of the train’s departure from the port.

Additional details about this process, including reporting of multiple containers on a single bill of lading that are handled at both Valleyfield and Taschereau, and reporting of buyers’ consolidation shipments, can be found HERE.

CBSA has advised that this process is expected to remain in place for a maximum of 90 days, or until the current backlog of containers has been cleared.

We have already had several discussions with CBSA on the challenges created by this process and will be participating in a stakeholder meeting that CBSA is holding at the end of this week.   Members who have specific issues or concerns they would like us to raise at this meeting should contact the undersigned by this Thursday (August 25th) at the latest.


Karen Kancens
Vice President