Rail now moving fluidly through Vancouver, CN says

Winnipeg | Reuters — Congestion at Port Metro Vancouver, Canada’s busiest port, has been resolved and rail operations are now “fluid,” Canadian National Railway said Friday.

Canadian National and rival Canadian Pacific Railway were rationing space on trains travelling in the Vancouver area and prioritized some commodities over others to deal with congestion, causing complaints from shippers.

Canada is a top shipper of crops, fertilizer, oil and pulp, but has in recent years needed government intervention to keep commodities moving, as new free trade deals with European and Pacific nations drive up demand.

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Fluidity in Vancouver improved this month because of actions taken by CN and other companies in the supply chain, CN spokesman Jonathan Abecassis said in a statement. He was not immediately available for comment on whether CN is continuing to ration space and prioritize some commodities.

The Canadian Transportation Agency is holding a hearing next week in Vancouver for shippers to voice concerns about congestion at the port in late 2018 and early this month.

— Rod Nickel is a Reuters correspondent covering the ag and mining sectors from Winnipeg.

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