Ontario Congestion Update

blog | Nov 02, 2022

Ontario Congestion Update

Further to our notice CN Updates – Reduction of Storage Free Time, we would like to share the most recent update concerning the congestion in Canada.  

Canada’s rail problems persist and continue to have a significant impact on the industry.  Toronto rail terminals are seeing extreme levels of congestion. Long wait times, as long as 8 hours, have been reported at the Ontario rail terminals and are impeding normal delivery and pick-up times. It is important to note that truck drivers are limited in number of allowable driving hours per day. In some instances, they are being forced to leave terminals without receiving a designated container. Shippers are seeing additional charges for terminal waiting time, terminal storage, yard storage, demurrage, detention, missed pick-up fees, etc. 

CN and CP have opened additional offsite terminals to offset the delays in Brampton. When containers are moved to these offsite yards, a shuttle fee ($300) is assessed per container. The CN storage policy has been modified as well, now beginning at 12.01 a.m. on the day storage starts and only giving 24 hours of free time. 

The empty container return situation has also become extremely challenging. This forces the drayage community to hold empty containers in their yards, resulting in additional costs for yard storage and, in some cases, lift on and lift off fees to free up their equipment in order to continue delivering new containers. The ripple effect is that drayage community yards are full, which limits their ability to prepull new loaded containers to avoid high storage costs. 

To maximize productivity, many drayage companies require “live unloads” to make equipment available for additional deliveries.  A lack of equipment, warehouse, drayage capacity and labor constraints have been major hindrances in reducing congestion this year.  

Please find the CN notices regarding the offsite facilities and the new storage rules here. 


Delmar is working diligently to mitigate the effects of this situation for our customers, however, most of these issues are beyond our control. 


For additional information and assistance, please contact your local Delmar Representative.