WINNIPEG, MANITOBA, CANADA — Canadian exporters of grain and other commodities are scrambling to find alternative shipping routes that avoid the Port of Vancouver, which is experiencing serious flooding, Reuters reported
A month’s worth of rain in two days caused floods and mudslides that wrecked highways and two east-west rail lines. The Trans Mountain oil pipeline and part of a gas line have been closed as precautions.
The port moves $437 million worth of cargo per day. Alternatives include diverting to the northern port of Prince Rupert, the US Pacific Northwest or eastern Canada, Reuters said.
Port of Vancouver said it expects vessels to anchor longer while they await delayed cargo. This typically results in shippers paying demurrage.
The railways have not provided an estimated timeline to be up and running again. Delays could stretch back as long as a month given the backlog of shipments, a grain industry source told Reuters.
The Prince Rupert grain terminal, owned by Richardson International, Viterra and Cargill Inc, is already busy with exports, limiting its capacity to handle more volumes, said Wade Sobkowich, executive director of the Western Grain Elevator Association.
Canola futures for January delivery fell 1.5% as traders factored in transportation problems from the floods.