• ITVI.USA
    9,157.620
    -27.560
    -0.3%
  • OTRI.USA
    2.590
    -0.020
    -0.8%
  • OTVI.USA
    9,162.320
    -26.570
    -0.3%
  • TLT.USA
    2.670
    -0.010
    -0.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.230
    -0.070
    -5.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    1.100
    -0.030
    -2.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    1.290
    -0.060
    -4.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    1.700
    0.130
    8.3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    1.520
    0.060
    4.1%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    1.120
    -0.030
    -2.6%
  • WAIT.USA
    139.000
    -12.000
    -7.9%
  • ITVI.USA
    9,157.620
    -27.560
    -0.3%
  • OTRI.USA
    2.590
    -0.020
    -0.8%
  • OTVI.USA
    9,162.320
    -26.570
    -0.3%
  • TLT.USA
    2.670
    -0.010
    -0.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.230
    -0.070
    -5.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    1.100
    -0.030
    -2.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    1.290
    -0.060
    -4.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    1.700
    0.130
    8.3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    1.520
    0.060
    4.1%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    1.120
    -0.030
    -2.6%
  • WAIT.USA
    139.000
    -12.000
    -7.9%
CanadaIntermodalInternationalNewsRailTruckingTruckload

CN moves to shut down Eastern Canada rail network amid blockades

Canadian National begins “disciplined and progressive” shutdown of eastern network and plans to halt all transcontinental service in response to anti-pipeline protests as impact hits intermodal carriers.

Canadian National (NYSE:CNI) began shutting down its Eastern Canada rail network Thursday and plans to halt all transcontinental service in response to ongoing disruptions by anti-pipeline protesters that have increasingly strained the country’s supply chains.

CN said it is initiating a “disciplined and progressive shutdown” of the eastern rail network after canceling more than 400 trains during the past week amid blockades in Ontario, Manitoba and British Columbia in support of a First Nations group’s opposition to a proposed pipeline route. 

The company said it will stop and secure all transcontinental trains and warned of imminent temporary layoffs for its Eastern Canadian operations staff.

“This situation is regrettable for its impact on the economy and on our railroaders as these protests are unrelated to CN’s activities, and beyond our control. Our shutdown will be progressive and methodical to ensure that we are well set up for recovery, which will come when the illegal blockades end completely,” CEO JJ Ruest said in a statement. 

Blockades remain in Ontario and British Columbia despite court orders and pressure from government officials. The protests are in support of hereditary chiefs of the Wet’suwet’en nation who say the Coastal GasLink pipeline will bring environmental and cultural harm to their territory in British Columbia.

Intermodal carriers take hit

The shutdown further hit an already strained supply chain, including intermodal trucking carriers. 

“It’s a complete standstill,” Corey Darbyson, director of the Quebec-based intermodal carrier Transport Dsquare, told FreightWaves, ahead of CN’s shutdown.

Dsquare primarily services the Toronto-Montreal corridor — with about 30% of its businesses tied to the rails. The company had already started receiving requests from shippers to have its trucks handle the full haul between Toronto and Montreal.

Darbyson said the disruption had already had a worse impact on Dsquare’s operations than November’s CN strike

“This has to stop,” Darbyson said. “The people have had their voices heard. Now it’s impacting across the nation”

The CEO of one of Canada’s largest transportation companies, Mullen Group, derided the ongoing anti-pipeline protests  as “a new form of “eco-terrorism” but said the blockades could bring more freight to trucking.

“The trucking industry might benefit by rails not being able to move goods,” Murray Mullen told analysts while discussing his company’s fourth-quarter financial results.

Despite his view of a potential upside, Mullen raised alarm about the impacts to Canada’s supply chain and called on authorities to end the protests as soon as possible.

“They better do something or a lot of Canadians are going to be hurt by the distortion to the supply chain,” Mullen said.

Tags
Show More

Nate Tabak, Border and North America Correspondent

Nate Tabak is a Toronto-based journalist who covers Canada for FreightWaves. He spent seven years as an investigative reporter, producer and editor based in Kosovo. He previously worked at newspapers in the San Francisco Bay Area, including the San Jose Mercury News. He graduated from UC Berkeley. Contact Nate at ntabak@freightwaves.com.

6 Comments

  1. If the Protesters we white straight males you can be sure the Swat team would have cleared em out a long time ago and shot anyone resisting.

    2 sets of laws in this Country.

    1. Son believe what you want to believe I guess. But those Asian gay guys protesting in Kentucky coal country seem to be doing alright. Reminds me of the transgender people protesting at standing rock the swat team actually helped them defeat the pipeline.

      I don’t understand why anyone would want to protect water when we have invented Diet Pepsi and sparkling ice makes no sense! These ppl with conservative ideologies on protecting the planet are getting in the way of 30% of the economy! Don’t they understand we need the pipelines?? As we transition to electric and hydrogen?

  2. Noble1 suggests SMART truck drivers should UNITE & collectively cut out the middlemen from picking truck driver pockets ! UNITE , CONQUER , & PROSPER ! IMHO says:

    Don’t F#&* with INDIANS(First Nations) !

    Remember the Oka Crisis in 1990 ??? They don’t fear no law enforcement , not even the Canadian army !

    IMHO !

    1. Noble1 suggests SMART truck drivers should UNITE & collectively cut out the middlemen from picking truck driver pockets ! UNITE , CONQUER , & PROSPER ! IMHO says:

      Your comment is a little contradictory from my perspective .

      First , an experienced truck driver tends to have good judgement .

      Second: Choosing to write in French on an English site under a Rail article and stating that you have experience driving transportation trucks rather than choosing to write it under an article under “truck driver recruitment” without omitting your contact info is a lack of good judgement .

      Last but not least , you should have google translated your comment from French to English to match the site’s language and post under a more suitable article . Failing to do so also points out a lack of good judgement on your part .

      Good luck in your job search .

      IMHO ………..

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Close