Service Update – All Modes

Air Cargo

No air cargo service issues have been reported since update #60.

Air Canada has announced its cargo schedule update showing new wide-body routes and frequencies taking effect in December to a number of global destinations. The Air Canada schedule can be found at:

Ocean Shipping

The high demand for container shipping especially on the Trans-Pacific routes continues. While shipping lines have brought on more ships, there are container shortages and carriers are preferring to return empty containers from the west coast to Asia rather than loading containers on the North American west coast with agricultural and forest products destined to Asia. Shippers in both Canada and the U.S. are facing similar problems.

The U.S. regulatory agency, the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) has taken note and has initiated correspondence on this matter with the World Shipping Council (WSC). The December 8th speech by the FMC Chairman, Michael Khouri on these issues can be found at the following link.

The December 15 American Shipper is reporting on the structural changes that are taking place in liner shipping.

With mergers and the power of the alliances, and the experience with capacity control during the pandemic, observers are noting that competition is declining. TheAmerican Shipper article can be found at the first red bar below.


Volume details for week 50 are included in the Supply Chain Commentaries section.


There continue to be reports of service problems on some routes, particularly Prince George-Prince Rupert.


No recent service issues on CP have been reported to FMA by shippers.

CP reports as follows for the weeks of December 7 and 14 as follows.

  • CP Intermodal week of Dec. 7
  • Intermodal carloads: 22,059 week ending Dec. 5 (previous week: 21,364)
  • We remain in fall peak, and CP continues to experience record demand.
  • We are tight on Dry capacity out of Vaughan and Vancouver
  • 40’ DRP is in limited supply at Vaughan and Lachine
  • CP Carloads week of Dec. 14
  • Weekly carloads: 34,257 week ending Dec. 12 (previous week: 32,759)
  • Our Winter Plan is now officially in effect. CP expects operating conditions to remain seasonal across the network. Difficult winter conditions anticipated on parts of the CP network in the three prairie provinces.
  • CP is experiencing an increased demand for Mill Gondolas and Centerbeams.
  • Strong car velocity is assisting with providing car supply across the network.


No issues on trucking service have been reported at this time. The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) is requesting that truck drivers be given high-priority in receiving the COVID-19 vaccinations, now being rolled out considering the importance of the trucking industry in distributing essential goods and the role that trucking will play in distributing the vaccines. The CTA news release can be found at

Supply Chain Commentaries

AAR Canadian Rail Traffic Data – Week 50

The AAR Canadian Carloading and Intermodal Statistics for the week ending Dec. 12

North American rail volume for the first 50 weeks of 2020 was 32,766,272 carloads and intermodal units, down 7.2 percent compared with 2019.

Canadian railroads reported 86,457 carloads for the week, up 5.3 percent, and 75,479 intermodal units, up 8.5 percent compared with the same week in 2019. For the first 50 weeks of 2020, Canadian railroads reported cumulative rail traffic volume of 7,220,154 carloads, containers and trailers, down 4.5 percent. The detailed statistics for week 50 can be found at the second red bar below.

The graph, accessed at the third red bar below, shows the trend of 2020 Canadian rail traffic in comparison to 2018 and 2019 volumes from week 1 to week 50. The graph illustrates the rebound of traffic in the third and fourth quarters.

FMA Government Relations

FMA has continuing communications with Transport Canada Surface Policy and Marine Policy officials and with Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) on Supply Chain recovery efforts. FMA also maintains a dialogue with the the Canadian Transportation Agency, which is the air, rail and marine regulator.

Information and questions from members, covering all modes of transportation are encouraged and will be useful in our continuing communications with the government. All individual company information will be kept confidential and only aggregated information will be used in communications with government officials.

FMA Office Operations

FMA staff are primarily working from home. If you need to talk with us, please call me at 613-294-4569.

Updates are on the FMA Website

The FMA COVID-19 updates continue to be uploaded to the website and there is a link to them on the home page at .

The FMA updates focus only on the impacts of COVID-19 on supply chains.