Monday, September 18, 2017

"Dwell time" issues at Fairview to see Cosco containers diverted south

The Cosco shipping line is diverting some cargo away from Prince Rupert
 this month, reportedly owing to increased dwell times at Fairview.

Normally, the fastest route for a container to travel to points inland across North America is through the Fairview Terminal gateway, however for the next six weeks, for one major shipping line, growing wait times out of Fairview have them sending their containers South.

An article posted today to the website for the trade publication Journal of Commerce, outlines the background to a decision by Cosco Shipping lines to divert their Asian import cargo to the DP World Centerm Terminal at the Port of Vancouver, bypassing Prince Rupert to avoid what is described as severe congestion and week-long dwell times.

Four vessels will skip their port call in Prince Rupert until November, they include the Xin Ou Zhou, CSCL America, Xin Fei Zhou, and CSCL Oceania, all are part of the shipping line's service that travels to ports between Asia and British Columbia, with the Canadian stops found in Vancouver and Fairview.

Prince Rupert is part of the Pacific NorthWest route recently introduced by Cosco Shipping

In comments for the Journal of Commerce article, Port of Prince Rupert spokesman Kris Schumacher outlined the current status for transit through Fairview Terminal.

“We usually have some of the lowest dwell times on the West Coast between two days and certainly less than three days," ...  “The experience right now is somewhere between three and seven days.”.

Indications from the article are that the typical dwell times should be restored by November, however no details as to why the slower times are being delivered at Prince Rupert have been revealed through the DP World information stream.

As a result of the shift to Vancouver for the next month, Canadian National Railways chief rival Canadian Pacific will be handling the diverted cargo that will now transit through the Port of Vancouver, though they have stressed that this is only a temporary measure.

Cosco expanded on the diversion plans for its customers with a Customer Advisory.

“Shipments on our CPNW vessels, originally via Prince Rupert and destined to Toronto, Montreal, Edmonton, Calgary, will be diverted for discharging at Vancouver (Centerm terminal) to final destination,”

The Journal of Commerce noted that the shipments involved now include goods destined for the US.

The success of the Fairview terminal through its ten years of service has been built on its reputation to turn the arriving cargo around in a quick period of time, making for a competitive advantage for the both the port and CN.

This would appear to be the first major diversion that the port has seen in recent times.

More background on the current situation can be found from the Journal of Commerce article here.

Further notes on Fairview Terminal can be reviewed from our archive page.

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