Port of Vancouver – Disruptions Due To Recent Flooding

Posted on Dec 7


Canadian Railways (CN) has resumed service on one of the critical rail links to and from the Port of Vancouver, the Kamloops-Vancouver corridor, after additional rainfall forced it to suspend service on the line shortly after first reopening it a few weeks ago.

The opening of this critical piece of infrastructure should help the port addressing the massive cargo backlog of rail shipments that accumulated since the catastrophic weather events closed port operations down.

As of Sunday the outbound container volume from the port was at 37% of the level before the disruption started.

Currently 53 vessels, including 6 container ships, are waiting outside the port for berth space.

Please use our tracking systems or contact your Import Account team about specific shipments.

We will provide further updates as they become available.



Canadian National’s (CN) had expected to reopen its main link to the Port of Vancouver on Wednesday last week but the track remained closed as of late Thursday due to new weather-related issues, the Canadian railway said.

CN resumed service between Prince George and Vancouver on Thursday but the continued shutdown of the Kamloops corridor will slow the resumption of normal operations at the port of Vancouver.

Congestion at the Port of Vancouver remained high as of Friday morning where 8 container vessels and several others were waiting to dock.

Canadian Pacific (CP) began limited service between Vancouver and Kamloops on Wednesday.

Our Import Teams are continuously monitoring the progress of all Vancouver-bound shipments and update our tracking systems constantly with the newest information available.

We’ll provide updates to the situation as soon as they become available.



Canadian Pacific Railway’s service to and from the Port of Vancouver is scheduled to be restarted on Tuesday while Canadian National Railways expects its service to resume Wednesday.

Additionally a highway route between the port and the British Columbia interior has been reopened to truck traffic.

All container terminals in the port are operating and receiving cargo. The port expects a 50% week-to-week increase in incoming freight by mid-week as delayed cargo is added to normal volumes.

As of Monday ocean containers face delays of 5-7 days before leaving the marine terminals, up from a dwell time of 3-5 days as of last Friday, the port predicts.

Our Import Teams are monitoring the shipment progress and update our tracking systems constantly with the newest information available.

We’ll provide updates to the situation as soon as they become available.


Crews from Canadian National (CN) and Canadian Pacific (CP) railroads are working to repair major sections of the network impacted by the recent floods and estimate that rail service to and from the Port of Vancouver could resume soon.

While CP expects to have service restored by the middle of the week CN estimated service will resume by the end of this week.

As of this morning 47 vessel, including 6 container ships, were anchored outside the port terminals at Vancouver.

Carriers expect that the it will take several weeks to have normal service and transit times restored.

Our Import Teams are monitoring the shipment progress and update our tracking systems constantly with the newest information available.

We’ll provide updates to the situation as soon as they become available.


The most recent reports from the Port of Vancouver show “significant” and likely long-lasting disruption, with several highways being closed and railroad operations still remaining suspended in parts of the affected area.

Highways 1, 3, 5, 7 and 99 are closed due to damage and mudslides.

Canadian National and Canadian Pacific have not yet reported the full extent of the damage to tracks, but with debris blocking the lines and major repairs needed CP’s operations between Spences Bridge and Falls Creek remain suspended following heavy rains that have resulted in multiple track outages. There is no time estimate for when service will resume, and additional rain and slides are heightening the situation and extending delays.

CP further reported that “all exports destined for the port of Vancouver have been embargoed as of last night. In addition, no perishables (reefers) to-from POV/VIF are being accepted. All intermodal and carload traffic northbound and eastbound from Vancouver, as well as traffic inbound to Vancouver from east/north of Kamloops, continue to be affected by this situation.”
Ocean carrier Maersk predicted major disruption to port operations “for the next few weeks”, adding that “we will see increased congestion at terminals and expect vessel delays”.

One possible option for shippers is to use the alternative Canadian Pacific port of Prince Rupert, which has so far been unaffected by the problems, remains fully operational and is not experiencing any impact to port or rail operations related to the extreme weather events and is ready to activate its full capacity.
11/17/2021 (UPDATED 03:45 PM)

Officials at the Port of Vancouver hope that rail service provided by Canadian National (CN) and Canadian Pacific (CP) railroads can be restored this weekend, while it is still unclear when major highway routes can be reopened to commercial traffic.

The Port of Vancouver in British Columbia has been cut off from all rail services by recent flooding and landslides, and port officials expect vessel delays and severe disruptions to terminal operations.

Significant parts of the rail lines operated by CN and Canadian Pacific that service Canada’s largest port had to be shut down after heavy rain brought up to 8 inches of rain to some areas of British Columbia on Sunday, the amount that usually falls in a month..

The port expects vessel delays and heightened anchorage demand due to disruptions to terminal operations where containers will have to wait for transport to inland points.

As of Tuesday night, the port reported 32 vessels at anchor, this number is expected to increase and container carriers might eventually reroute vessels to other ports.

We are monitoring the situation and will provide updates once they become available.

If you have concerns about specific shipments please refer to our tracking system or contact your V. Alexander Import Account Team.