customs brokerage, freight forwarding and truck transportation

CN Tightens Storage Rules

: Transport

Canadian National Railways Changes Storage Policy Effective May 15, 2018 2018-05-10

Milgram were just informed of the following by Hapag Lloyd (one of the marine carriers that contracts their rail carriage-out to Canadian National Railways, CNR or CN for short):
We would like to inform you that new storage rules for Canadian National Railway Company (CNRR) will be effective May 15, 2018.
Whilst the full details of these changes can be viewed directly on the CNRR website, please find a brief summary as noted below: 
  • Sunday is now a chargeable day on the weekend and counted in the free time calculation. For example, containers that arrive on Friday now have a last free day of Sunday.
  • Introduction of a new storage tier for containers moving under protective service for temperature control. 
  • Storage charges for dry containers, ISO tanks, and refrigerated containers moving with Hapag-Lloyd Gensets have changed.
  • Introduction of storage rebates for off peak pick-ups, which reduce the chargeable storage per day billed directly from CNRR to the account of the cargo. Rebates are offered only at Montreal, Toronto, Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, Chicago Harvey, Detroit, and Memphis ramp locations. 
Both of our national railroads (the other being Canadian Pacific) have been reporting record profits. They have a longstanding history of cutting costs in an attempt to maximize their revenues and have been shifting the burden for storage onto importers for some time.
Milgram has arrangements in place with our drayage contractors to prepull or prepick containers; that involves shunting Customs released full general purpose/dry containers to a secure yard for storage off of the premises of the rail company (the service is not available for operating reefer units). Many truckers retain drivers whose sole responsibility is to shunt containers from CN or CP to their yards during off-peak time (during evenings and weekends). Not only is that sometimes necessary for the trucker to be able to honour a specific delivery appointment, but it is a less costly alternative to leaving the container at the railhead (with storage accruing there). An additional cost is involved with a prepull/prepick but that is offset by the savings in terms of storage with the rail company. Importers are able to take advantage of the initial free time that the trucker allows in between the time that they pick-up from the railhead and the eventual intended delivery window.
Even factoring-in the supposed rebate mentioned by Hapag in the fourth bullet, prepulling/prepicking remains an attractive alternative from a financial point of view (owing to the extended free time and lower storage cost/chassis detention that is billed by truckers versus the exorbitant storage that is charged by either railco).
Many if not most clients are already taking advantage of this arrangement and perhaps now is the time for those who are not yet prepulling to opt-in for the service.
Please contact your Milgram Client Services Representative for any additional information on the prepull/prepick option or CN’s new storage policy.


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