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Service Announcement | Severe Winter Weather in North America | February 2014

Posted on 14 February 2014

Mainfreight Charlotte
While we all watch the Sochi Winter Olympics on TV in the comfort of our homes, for North America it is a bit more real, as again the USA and Canada is hit with severe winter weather. The record low temperatures and heavy snow is putting pressure on operations and causing some disruptions.

Gulf / Southeast

Fog in Houston has forced closure to the channel, delaying vessels.  Another major winter storm, expected to bring as much as 3inches of ICE, is hitting the southeast today, which is expected to severely impact all operations from Memphis to Norfolk.  Please anticipate minimum 48 hr. delays or more for delivery of cargo, as this will hamper truck, rail and terminal operations.  Will also likely result in vessel delays.

The winter weather has extended to North Carolina and a winter storm has brought snow and sleet causing power outages and dangerous road conditions. All cartage, flights and rail are not operating and our Mainfreight Charlotte office is remaining closed as our team struggle to make it to work in these dangerous road conditions.

Gulf/ South East Update 6/03/2014

Fog has continued to hamper the Houston ship channel.  Over 60 vessels have been waiting, 4 of them for HL services. While channel has been reopened as of today, we will see significant delays.  Vessel schedule recovery plans will be announced in due course. 

New York / Midwest

Heavy Snow Forecasted
The continuous severe weather in this region is set to continue with the winter storm forecasted to bring 12 inches of snow to this region causing closures of NY terminals.

Friday, February 14

  • Maher Terminals, Port Newark Container Terminal, and APM Terminals will be closed.  Global Terminal, New York Container Terminal, and Red Hook Container Terminal plan to open at 0800.
  • The Centralized Examination Stations:  East Coast, GCT, H&M, and Salson will be open.

Saturday, February 15

  • Maher Terminals and its facilities will open on for all moves from 0700-1600. 
  • Salson CES will be open.  East Coast and H&M will open for pick-up of CES containers from the terminal.

Monday, February 17 (President's Day)

  • Maher Terminals, Port Newark Container Terminal, and APM Terminals will open for truck operation as follows:
  • Maher - 0600-1900 PNCT- 0600-1800 APM - 0600-1700 (reefers until 1630)
  • New York Container Terminal, Global Terminal, and Red Hook Container will be closed.
  • Salson CES will be open. East Coast and H&M will have limited CES operations.  GCT CES will be closed.

New York / Midwest Update 06/03/2014

We have had a slight break in the weather for the last 5 days, without any major precipitation events. However, we are experiencing another Polar vortex, with below freezing temperatures and heavy snow in the Midwest.  Rail and marine terminals are still trying to clear out backlogs, and extensive delays are expected to continue well into March. G6 has already agreed to divert 2 AZX and 3 NYE sailings from Maher terminal to NYCT, to assist in reducing congestion and backlog at Maher Terminal.  However, long delays continue at Maher and to a lesser extent APMT terminals. 


Canadian Pacific Railway (CP) remains fluid and is in fast improving with dwells less than 2 days. 

Canadian National Railway Company (CN Rail), continues to have very high ground counts in Vancouver, with much higher terminal dwells of 8+ days.  While there is a very good plan for this upcoming week, it appears it will still take 3+ weeks to clear out this backlog.

Vancouver (to or from): Detroit, Memphis, Arcadia and Indianapolis (these are lanes which CP rail does not service directly). 

As a result of the backlog of import rail containers for CN Rail, the Vancouver Terminal (Delta Port) has become severely congestion, forcing the terminal to delay the arrival/berthing of vessels, adding delays to our vessel schedules.

Vancouver Update 06/03/2014

The United Truckers Association, is planning a protest today as a result of congestion, long lines and low pay to truckers throughout the port area. This will certainly set back any potential progress being attempted to be made by the terminal and railroads. We will monitor this closely. Meantime, after short break in weather, the cold weather is back, which restricts the length of train, cutting back on maximizing the daily train production. 


As previously reported, Truck power continues to be problematic throughout this region.  Till now the delays were mainly experienced on door deliveries.  However, now it is starting to impact rail deliveries as well with dwells up to 5 days. 

Equipment Situation

Please be advised that due to the above conditions, it is becoming increasingly more difficult to reposition empty equipment. Priority focus with all aspects of the transport chain is moving loads.  So when capacity is reduced due to weather, truck and chassis shortages, terminal closures etc. Loads (imports and exports) will move first. Hence we may experience spot equipment shortages at certain locations as a result of these conditions.

Equipment Situation Update 06/03/2014

It has continued to be increasingly more difficult to reposition empty equipment as a result of the various North American challenges listed within this report. Priority focus with all aspects of the transport chain is moving loads. So when capacity is reduced due to weather, truck and chassis shortages, terminal closures etc., loads (imports and exports) will move first. Hence we may experience spot equipment shortages at certain locations as a result of these conditions. Please also note this week and next week will be difficult due to lack of import containers due to the effect of Chinese New Year.

We appreciate your patience and understanding and please be assured that our teams right around the world remain focused on delivering the best possible service.