September 9, 2022 | Circular No. 11454

Dear Member,

As part of the ongoing effort to clear congestion at Canada’s west coast ports and improve supply chain fluidity, CN has announced that it plans to divert some Toronto-bound containers to its facility in Mississauga (MISC) rather than unloading them at Brampton.

CN will pre-identify containers to be unloaded at Mississauga once they leave the port of discharge (Vancouver or Prince Rupert) and notify the shipping line within 24 hours of train departure.  The shipping line and / or freight forwarder will then be required to update the sub-location code (to Port 0495 / sub-location 5974) on their submissions to CBSA.  CN had indicated that although containers will not begin arriving at Mississauga until September 12, the pre-identification of such containers will start immediately. Additional details about the new process can be found in CN’s most recent customer bulletin (please click HERE).

It is worth noting that although the reporting process for containers diverted to Mississauga is essentially the same as the process that was implemented last month for Montreal-bound containers diverted to Valleyfield (see CL 11453), the sheer volume of containers that are destined to Toronto means that the reporting burden on carriers will be significantly higher.

Given that the Mississauga facility also serves as a depot for empty containers, CN has indicated that it is planning to designate another facility to handle empties in order to ensure that Mississauga has sufficient capacity for the diverted laden containers.  Shipping lines have urged CN to move quickly in setting up this facility, and ensuring that it has sufficient capacity to handle the significant volumes of empties that continue to clog the system.

CN has also indicated that it is considering winding down its Valleyfield operation within the next few weeks, subject to its ability to clear the facility by having importers pick up their containers as efficiently as possible.  CN reports that it was able to move an additional 3,000 containers through the Valleyfield facility which would have otherwise remained in the system.

CBSA has been holding bi-weekly meetings with stakeholders to discuss issues related to the new reporting requirements resulting from the Valleyfield and Mississauga diversions, which are attended by representatives from CN, as well as shipping lines and freight forwarders.  Although several of our west coast members are already participating in these meetings (as is the Federation), any other members who wish to attend are most welcome to do so, and should contact the undersigned for details.


Karen Kancens
Vice President