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Today’s Pickup: Fleet, freight contract from ‘Ice Road Truckers’ carrier for sale

Prospective buyers can bid on defunct Canadian firm’s trucks, trailers and a contract to haul cement to a diamond mine.

Tli Cho Landtran specialized in hauling freight on winter and ice roads in Canada. Photo: Tli Cho Landtran

Good day,

Anyone who has ever considered getting into the ice road trucking business now has a chance. The fleet of defunct Canadian carrier Tli Cho Landtran Transport and affiliates, and a freight contract are for sale

The court-approved sale includes about 230 pieces of transportation equipment, primarily trucks and trailers, and a contract to haul cement for a diamond mine in the Northwest Territories. 

The ongoing contract with Diavik Diamond Mines runs until Sept. 1, 2024. The public information included with the sale doesn’t disclose any financial details of the contract.

Tli Cho and its affiliates filed for insolvency protection in December following years of losses and mounting debt. The indigenous-owned carrier had been featured on the TV series “Ice Road Truckers.”

The deadline for bids is Feb. 7.

Did you know?

Customs and Border Protection agents seized 80,548 pounds of methamphetamine at the U.S.-Mexico border in California during the fiscal year ending in September 2019 – a 66% increase over the previous year.


“I think it’s probably going to take people off the road, so from a capacity standpoint I think there could be more trucks sitting empty.”

– Dean Newell, vice president of safety and training at Maverick Transportation, on the impact of the federal Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse taking effect on Jan. 6.  

In other news:

Oregon highways getting safer despite headline-grabbing truck crashes

Data from the state of Oregon shows a decline in truck crashes despite high-profile accidents. (Salem Reporter)

Ontario steps up emissions delete kit enforcement 

Canada’s largest province, Ontario, is intensifying its fight against emissions delete kits in the trucking industry. (Truck News

China’s logistics sector posts steady but slower growth

China’s logistics industry continued to grow during the first 11 months of 2019, albeit at a slightly slower pace. (Xinhua) 

High freight rates hitting West African crude routes

Rates have soared on key shipping crude routes from West Africa to Europe and Asia. (Hellenic Shipping News)

Capacity limits at U.S. airports hitting cargo industry

U.S. airports’ capacity constraints are holding back the air cargo industry. (Air Cargo News)

Final thoughts:

Prospective buyers of Tli Cho’s fleet and freight contract might want to consider the company’s demise. 

The carrier struggled to make its key contracts profitable despite its expertise in hauling freight on the ice roads. 

Hammer down everyone!


  1. Noble1

    Furthermore ,

    Quote :

    December 2 2019
    Diamond Industry’s Torrid Year Set to Continue for Some Time

    “The crisis afflicting the diamond industry won’t end anytime soon, according to Liberum Capital Markets.

    There has been little good news this year. An oversupply of rough diamonds, a surfeit of polished stone stocks and falling prices have piled pressure on both the companies that dig them up and the lesser known businesses that cut, polish and trade them.

    “The diamond market has had a torrid year,” Ben Davis, an analyst at Liberum, said in a report on Monday. “While there is some optimism emerging from expected mine supply cuts and an end to the destocking in the midstream that should help lift rough diamond prices, the next six months are still likely to be difficult for the industry.”

    November 4 2019

    For the Diamond Industry, Things Are Rough

    “De Beers is taking more drastic steps to stem the crisis in the diamond industry by cutting prices across the board for the first time in years.”

    August 16 2019
    The World Has a Diamond Glut. Why Is That a Problem?


    The Next Diamond Decade
    The Roaring ’20s
    Dec 25, 2019

    “Change is the only constant

    The silver lining is that the industry has made significant moves in the past two to three years to help it navigate the volatility that still lies ahead. Perhaps most notably, it is embracing technology to improve efficiency — and businesses at every stage of the pipeline will need to be more efficient if the industry is to grow amid all the changes yet to come. The industry will look very different in 10 years from now.

    Here, we make 10 predictions of how the market will evolve in the 2020s, though perhaps they’re better read as suggestions for what needs to happen to ensure growth. Either way, we’re optimistic that it will be better than the 2010s, perhaps even an era that’s worthy of the title “The Diamond Decade.”

    1. Lower rough supply

    Mining companies currently have a lot of rough inventory that didn’t sell in 2019. The Rapaport Research Report has expressed concern that they may push these goods to the market in the coming year and thus prolong the midstream’s oversupply struggles in the short term. However, mining production has peaked, and we expect rough supply to diminish over the next five to 10 years as several key mines shut down.

    Argyle is set for closure in 2021, Ekati in 2023, and Diavik in 2025. That will take about 25 million carats of annual production off the market in the next five years alone, based on 2018 production at those mines. Operations set to run dry by 2030 include the 6 million-carat-per-year Gahcho Kué mine and the Renard mine with its 2 million carats a year.

    The shortfall in the supply of new rough, combined with growing demand out of the US, China and India, should support polished prices in the coming decade.”

    Good Luck !

  2. Noble1

    Quote :

    Oct 23, 2019
    Moody’s loses confidence in Dominion Diamond’s ability to pay back $550M bond

    “Bond it owes creditors set to come due at same time 2 N.W.T. mines expected to wind down

    The murky future for two diamond mines in the Northwest Territories has led a major credit ratings agency to doubt whether the company that owns those mines will pay off a $550-million bond it owes creditors. 
    Credit ratings agency Moody’s has downgraded Northwest Acquisitions ULC, a subsidiary of the conglomerate that owns parts of the Ekati and Diavik diamond mines.  

    Earlier this month, Moody’s changed its rating on a $550-million bond down to CAA1 from B3. It also changed its outlook from stable to negative. This means the agency is less confident that Northwest will be able to pay off the bond when it comes due in November 2022.
    “The difference between a B and a CAA, that seems to be a cutoff in the market within that speculative or junk bond grade,” said Jamie Koutsoukis, a vice-president and senior analyst with Moody’s Canada. 
    “There’s even less credibility when it moves to a CAA.”  
    Though the Northwest bond has always been classified as a risky investment by Moody’s standards, this downgrade is a significant step, she said. Moody’s best possible rating is AAA, which is reserved for what it sees as the safest investments, such as government bonds. 
    Little information on future of mines
    Forecasting the future of the Ekati and Diavik diamond mines has become difficult since the Dominion Diamond Corporation was purchased by the Washington Companies in 2017. 
    “There’s no plan in place to extend the mine life at a time when the debt is coming closer and closer to coming due,” explained Koutsoukis. 
    “We continue to see a contraction in the time they have to develop this mine plan.” 

    There’s no plan in place to extend the mine life at a time when the debt is coming closer and closer to coming due.

    – Jamie Koutsoukis, Moody’s Canada 
    Northwest Acquisitions purchased all of the shares in the company and the corporation is now the privately-owned Dominion Diamond Mines. 

    As a private company ultimately owned by the Roy Dennis Washington Trust, Dominion is now subject to fewer public reporting requirements than companies that are publicly traded on the stock market. 

    It remains silent on whether it has plans to extend the life of its mines, which are some of the territory’s most significant employers. Projections suggest Diavik is expected to close within the next decade and Ekati would need significant expansion to continue producing into the 2030s. 

    Paul Zimnisky, a diamond-industry analyst based in New York, says the markets are in the dark as well, waiting for an announcement on the company’s plans. 

    “Dominion is probably going to have to make a decision relatively soon,” he said in an email. “The economics of the potential expansion options are probably OK-to-good, but not great, which is why there has not been a decision yet.” 

    To the markets, either Dominion extends the life of Ekati or it doesn’t, he said. Whatever decision it makes would affect how much money the company has to pay back its creditors and whether it will be able to pay off its debt. ”

    One possible expansion, of the Jay pipe at Ekati, was put on hold in May 2018.  At the time, a spokesperson for Dominion Diamond Mines said it was to study whether the project could make enough money. There has been no information on that project since. 
    Emails seeking comment from Dominion Diamond Mines for this story and an update on the expansion were not immediately returned to CBC News. 

    End quote .

    You may also like to google:

    Dominion Diamond-related bond woes fuel worries about NWT industry
    By Derek Neary –
    October 21, 2019

    Northwest Acquisitions ULC, controlled by the Washington Group, issued the bond two years ago. Moody’s ratings of the fixed-income security have fallen from Ba3, outlook stable, to Caa1, outlook negative.”

    “S&P Global Ratings downgrades Foreign Currency LT credit rating of Northwest Acquisitions to “CCC+”; outlook negative
    December 06, 2019 | CBonds

    S&P Global Ratings downgraded from “B” to “CCC+” the Foreign Currency LT credit rating of Northwest Acquisitions on December 5, 2019. The outlook is negative.”

    April 14 2019
    Why Canada’s diamond miners are in trouble
    “Ekati and sister mine Diavik, located 210 kilometres (130 miles) south of the Arctic Circle, are now old, tired and running out of diamonds; they will likely both close soon. So far, the mines that were designed to replace them aren’t faring well either.

    Canada’s flagship miner, Dominion Diamond Mines, the owner of Ekati and a stake in Diavik with Rio Tinto Group, has also had a rough ride. After being bought for US$1.2 billion more than a year ago, the company has been hit by an exodus of top management, with at least five executives leaving, including its CEO and CFO.

    The new owner, billionaire Dennis Washington, has also sought to sell the company, according to people familiar with the situation. Washington denied this is the case. Dominion is currently studying two potential expansions, though both projects produce even lower-quality stones, making them a tough sell in the current environment.
    Maturing Sector

    “You have a maturing sector in Canada: Ekati and Diavik were good mines. When you have good mines, others follow even if the economics are a bit more of a close call,” said Anish Aggarwal, a partner at consultant Gemdax, based in the diamond trading city of Antwerp. “That’s becoming a problem in many mining jurisdictions, not just Canada.”

    End quotes .

    Good luck !

Comments are closed.

Nate Tabak

Nate Tabak is a Toronto-based journalist and producer who covers cybersecurity and cross-border trucking and logistics for FreightWaves. He spent seven years reporting stories in the Balkans and Eastern Europe as a 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, where he studied the history of American policing. Contact Nate at [email protected]