Service Update – All Modes

Air Cargo

No air cargo service issues have been reported since update #61.

The Loadstar reports that rates are forecast to remain high for up to six months with most passenger flights remaining cancelled and pressure to move pandemic vaccines over the next half year. The Loadstar article can be found at the following link.

Ocean Shipping

The high demand for container shipping especially on the Trans-Pacific routes continues. Container shortages continue to be experienced at at many locations, including the west coast of North America for exports.

The Loadstar reports that rates from Asia to both Europe and North America remain high. The Shanghai Containerized Freight Index is reporting spot rates to the North American west coast at US$4,019 per FEU with “space protection guarantee charges” running an additional $2,500 – $3,000 per box. The full article can be found at


AAR Canadian Volume details for the full year of 2020 are included in the Supply Chain Commentaries section.

There was significant recovery of volumes towards the end off the year with overall traffic at year-end being down only 4.1% compared to 2019.


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.


No issues on trucking service have been reported at this time. Inside Logistics is commenting on the uncertainty of demand going forward, based on their annual “Buying Trends” survey in late 2020. In this article, Lou Smyrlis, Managing Director of the Newcom Trucking & Supply Chain Commodity group notes that 59% of shippers surveyed reported a drop in volumes 2020 compared to 2019. Mr. Smyrlis also comments on the capacity tightening beginning in mid-year with demand increasing and retirements of senior drivers during the year. He notes that trucking executives are showing some optimism as orders for new trailers and class 8 trucks have risen late in the year. The Inside Logistics opinion piece can be found at the following link.

Supply Chain Commentaries

AAR Canadian Rail Traffic Data -2020 – Year End

Note that there are 52.28 weeks in the year and therefore the data in the links below shows data for “53” weeks in 2020, i.e. week 53 ending on Saturday, January 2, 2021.

North American rail volume for the 53 weeks of 2020 was 34,610,470 carloads and intermodal units, down 6.7 percent.

Canadian railroads reported 74,166 carloads for week 53, down 2.7 percent, and 58,241 intermodal units, up 3.3 percent compared with the final week in 2019. For the first 53 weeks of 2020, Canadian railroads reported cumulative rail traffic volume of 7,637,891 carloads, containers and trailers, down 4.1 percent.

The the numeric volumes are shown at the link in the first red bar below and the graphical trends for the year, compared to the previous two years can be accessed at the second, third and fourth red bars below. Graph #4 highlights grain, showing substantial growth in that commodity compared to the previous two years.

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.