Toronto Intermodal Terminal Update – September 8, 2022
Severe congestion issues continue to hamper the movement of intermodal containers in the Toronto area. Despite hope that the situation would begin to improve in the early fall, we have yet to see any noticeable changes, in fact, the issues remain and are actually getting worse. Many truck carriers are refusing to take on new business, as they are completely overwhelmed, and those that are attempting to move cargo are no longer able to pre-pull containers due to lack of available equipment. The inability to pre-pull containers means that the units will incur storage at the railyard, at rates that begin at CAD $200.00 per day, with daily rate increases typically after three days. On top of this, steamship lines will charge demurrage fees, also on a daily basis, with a similar fee structure in which the daily fees increase after a set number of days.
The main issues relate to less available drayage opportunities to move containers, as the number of carriers and owner operators involved in this business sector have been reduced. Severe congestion at inland rail terminals is also delaying the efficient collection of containers and the subsequent empty returns. What is unique in the case of this situation is that import volumes into Canada, that typically cause congestion issues, are actually lower than last year, so the issues clearly point to inefficiencies at inland terminals. Whatever the cause, the ripple effect of these ongoing issues is additional fees for shippers such as terminal storage, waiting time, chassis detention and steamship line detention and demurrage.
We are monitoring the situation very closely, and will advise as new developments unfold.
For more information, please call David Lychek, Director – Ocean & Air Services at (905) 882-4880, ext. 1207.