July 14, 2023 | Circular No. 11556

Dear Member,

Further to yesterday’s communications regarding the resumption of operations at Canada’s west coast ports, you will find below the most recent updates that were shared at today’s stakeholder meeting hosted by Transport Canada:

Operational Updates

  • Port of Vancouver is back to full operations, with 45 vessels in port, 14 expected in the next 24 hours, and 23 pending anchorage assignments. Vessel tracking information indicates that many of the container ships that are heading to Vancouver are slow steaming (8 to 12 knots), as are some bulk carriers, which should help address concerns over anchorage availability over the next several weeks.  Fifteen ro-ro vessels are also expected within the next two weeks, reflecting the very high level of demand from the automotive industry. The port has implemented a priority-based anchorage allocation system as a temporary alternative to the usual first-come, first-served process (please see the port’s daily operational updates for additional information).
  • Port of Prince Rupert is also fully operational, with intermodal operations resuming last night and operations at the wood pellet terminal resuming as of this morning.
  • CN and CKPC are bringing resources back on line as quickly as possible, and are keeping a particularly close eye on manpower and crewing levels (given the challenges of ramping these up to required levels in a short period of time).

TC Stakeholder Calls

  • Tranport Canada’s operational calls with stakeholders will break over the weekend and resume on Monday, although their future frequency will depend on how the recovery effort proceeds.

CBSA – Conveyance and Cargo Reporting

  • CBSA issued below notice earlier today reminding marine carriers and other stakeholders of measures they should take to prevent delays to the movement of ships and cargoes through the recovery process:

The British Columbia Maritime Employers Association and the International Longshore & Warehouse Union Canada (ILWU) reached a tentative agreement on Thursday, July 13, 2023. It is anticipated that the marine terminal operations on the West Coast of Canada will resume promptly. As a result of the delays that the longshoremen strike has caused, there will likely be an influx of vessels looking to off-load marine containers at ports that can accommodate them without delay. The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) understands that this may be a challenging time for Carriers, Port Authorities and Warehouse Operators; however, it is necessary to ensure the continued safety of Canadians while assisting industry stakeholders in fulfilling their obligations.

It is imperative that Trade Chain Partners communicate effectively within the trade community to ensure accurate and timely submission of cargo reports and amendments. This will prevent further delays and allow for the movement of cargo throughout the process. In an attempt to minimize trade chain disruptions, the CBSA advises the following:

  • Marine carriers, as an interim measure, do not transmit the Conveyance Arrival Certification Message (CACM) until such time that the marine carrier has received confirmation that the vessel will be berthing and discharging, as scheduled.
  • Ensure that all Advanced Commercial Information (ACI) Cargo Control Documents, Electronic House Bills, House Bill Closed Messages and EDI release requests are on file accurately, ensuring that any port codes or sublocation codes are revised, as required.
  • Ensure that all stakeholders communicate any conveyance and cargo revisions in a timely manner, keeping all trade chain partners apprised prior to the conveyance arrival.
  • The freight forwarder industry ensures that they have received release messaging, in addition to a deconsolidation notice, when release is expected.

Information regarding marine cargo reporting requirements are outlined in Memorandum D3-5-1 Marine Pre-load/Pre-arrival and Reporting Requirements.  Freight forwarder Electronic House Bill requirements are outlined in Memorandum D3-3-1: Freight forwarder pre-arrival and reporting requirements (cbsa-asfc.gc.ca).


Karen Kancens
Vice President