Modal Update April 2020-Marine and Truck

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Modal Update April 2020-Marine and Truck

  • The CBSA is making progress towards the expanded use of email and fax in lieu of paper submissions of commercial documentation. The first wave of ports to offer email service will be Vancouver, Toronto, Windsor, Montreal and Halifax. Additional offices will come online shortly. Commercial clients are encouraged to communicate with their local CBSA office to determine their state of readiness and the best method currently available. Clients need to obtain confirmation from the local office prior to sending documents by email.
  • April 1: Seaway Opens Montreal/Lake Ontario Section

The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation opened its Montreal/Lake Ontario section on March 31, eight days after the opening of the Welland Canal section.

Press release from the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation

  • April 2: Reliability to Suffer as Void Sailings Multiply

Drewry expects additional blank sailings and service suspensions to be announced as carriers attempt to manage the downturn in box volumes resulting from economic shutdowns as governments attempt to limit COVID-19 deaths.

Article from Lloyd’s Loading List

  • April 4: Defuse the Shipping Sector ‘Timebomb’ – Lift Travel Restrictions on Seafarers: ICS

In a bid to stop the spread of coronavirus, ports around the world continue to restrict when crew can disembark, while the collapse in passenger flights has drastically reduced the options for repatriating seafarers, preventing the normal frequency of crew changes.

Article from The Loadstar

  • April 22: Box Carriers ‘Turning a Deaf Ear’ to Calls to Cancel Bunker Surcharges as Oil Price Slumps

With oil prices plunging to less than $20 per barrel, ocean carriers are coming under increased pressure to cancel their bunker surcharges and introduce negative bunker adjustment factors (BAFs) across their networks.

Article from The Loadstar


  • In an effort to reduce document handling at primary inspection lines (PIL) during COVID-19, and as a measure of safety for all, the CBSA urges all carriers who are not already signed up for electronic notices to do so as soon as possible. Receipt of these electronic notices will eliminate the need for a driver/carrier to receive a stamped copy of the lead sheet at PIL. You can sign up at
  • April 6: ‘Empty miles’ racked up by truckers putting pressure on vital Canadian industry

Due to the shutting down of non-essential businesses across the country because of COVID-19 restrictions, truckers are racking up more and more “empty miles” – driving empty trailers that generate little or no revenue.

A few weeks ago, many trucking routes would have seen drivers haul essential goods on one leg of the journey but non-essential items, such as auto parts, snowmobiles or bathroom fixtures, on the other leg. No more.

Article from The Globe and Mail

  • April 18: U.S., Canada Extend Border Closure for 30 Days, Trudeau Says

The agreement between Canada and the U.S. to close the border to non-essential travelers, initiated in March, was extended to May 20. Essential goods and services continue to be able to move between the two countries.

Article from BNN Bloomberg

  • April 23: Mullen Group lays off 1,000 as pandemic slows economy

Trucking, logistics and oilfield services firm Mullen Group Ltd. says it has temporarily laid off about 1,000 people because of the impact of measures to control the COVID-19 pandemic.

Article from Inside Logistics

  • April 24: Coalition of Trucking Interests Unified in Financial Asks from Ottawa

A group representing all interests involved in the trucking industry, including drivers, carriers and labour, is asking Ottawa to assist drivers and trucking companies who are struggling to operate through COVID-19.

Press release from Canadian Trucking Alliance

  • April 25: Many Canadian trucking companies need help

As a plunge in freight volumes and rates take a toll, Canada’s trucking industry seeks relief on payroll taxes to hold on to precious cash.

Article from FreightWaves