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Recommendations presented to correct ‘Rail Service Failures’

On September 1, the Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association (CIFFA) sent a letter to CN to address delays and congestion at Toronto rail terminals. “After months of long wait times to get in at the gate and long delays in service once in the gate, the drayage community and the customers they serve are reaching the end of their ability to cope,” said the association.

Currently drivers are waiting between 4-8 hours to be served after gating in at the rail terminals in the GTA, which is hampering their ability to meet specific appointment times. In addition, Canada’s mining, agriculture and forestry companies say the poor service offered by Canada’s two main rail carriers, CN and CP, is costing them millions of dollars.

CIFFA has urged CN to take five corrective actions:

  • compensate trucking companies for wait times that exceeds a reasonable period (30 to 45 minutes)
  • establish a reasonable service time from in-gate to exit (90 minutes)
  • allow a reasonable time before storage applies (48 hours)
  • give free time for Saturdays, Sundays and statutory holidays, which means the storage timer would only apply after the free time and weekend days have expired
  • no charge storage for dray operators who have been waiting to in-gate for several hours and missed their reservation window through no fault of their own, and back-date this change to at least the beginning of August, when delays at the gates became unreasonable

We will continue to monitor this situation closely and advise accordingly.

If you have any questions concerning shipments booked with Universal Logistics and how they may be impacted by the above, please call (905) 882-4880, ext. 308 – Debbie McGuire, Manager – Freight Solutions.

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