As congestion increases at Montreal railyards, additional charges are becoming more common. As volumes into the port increase, terminal yards are regularly full, and reservations to return empty containers are not always available. The inability of terminals to accept empty equipment returns can lead to demurrage fees from the steamship lines and detention fees from drayage carriers that are holding the empty containers in their yards for several days.
In addition to the potential for extra charges, this backlog is leading to less chassis equipment being available to utilize for pulling full containers from the yards for deliveries, thus causing delays in deliveries and potentially leading to storage charges at the railyard as well.
Toronto is experiencing similar rail congestion and drayage capacity shortages resulting in storage, detention, and/or demurrage charges. These fees are the risk and responsibility of the cargo owner.
Unfortunately, congestion in the rail system has been going on for weeks, and there is no clear end in sight. While some relief container yards are being implemented to clear backlogs and restore fluidity in the supply chain network, the ports, rail operators, and drayage groups are all stretched to the limit, and it’s unlikely that the system will unclog any time soon.