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Container shipping to Winnipeg – Part 4

Next problem: Shipping. Turns out not a lot of people (read: non-businesses) do container shipping inland. We worked with Al Thompson @ Thompson Logistics.

We had to ask Mark (the exporter) to ask Hanjin (the steamship company) for a through-rate to Winnipeg. This meant that Hanjin did all of the logistics for the container. From Dock to Dock - this even included 'drayage', which is the container being transported by truck and trailer to the unloading facility.

The container cleared customs in Vancouver, with the paperwork done by Al. It got flagged for dockside inspection - we were all worried they'd take the cars out of the container (at our expense, of course) - but it ended up being no huge deal.

Once it cleared customs in Vancouver, it was moved to the CN yard to be moved to Winnipeg by train!

CN Rail map

CN Rail map

CN has 'package tracking' not unlike UPS/FedEx/etc, so we could watch it's progress.

In Edmonton, off to Calgary!

In Calgary, back to Edmonton!

Turns out that rail maybe isn't the most efficient system in the world. Our container was dragged from Edmonton to Calgary... waited a day... unloaded. then was dragged back to Edmonton. If UPS functioned like this, they wouldn't still be in business. Our guess is that the container was on a car that was stacked 2 high, on top of a container that was bound for Calgary. Our container would need to be unloaded to get the lower container.

Once it finally got to Winnipeg, it needed the final trip to the unloading/destuffing place.

Timeline breakdown

  • 13 days on the Ship
  • 15 days on the dock
    • waiting for customs
    • waiting for dockside
    • waiting to move to the rail yard
    • waiting to be put on the train
  • 10 days on the train
  • 2 days at the rail yard

So... it's slower.

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