Please support this Forum and Neven's Blog

Author Topic: Arctic transport affected by climate change  (Read 129 times)

numerobis

  • ASIF Citizen
  • Posts: 111
    • View Profile
Arctic transport affected by climate change
« on: July 12, 2017, 06:58:48 PM »
Something I noticed last night while looking in to the schedule for when my goods get to Iqaluit: this year, my shipper, Desgagnés Transarctik, is not picking up goods in Churchill to deliver to communities in central and western Nunavut. Instead, it has a ship leaving Montreal that's going down the St Lawrence and around Labrador and Quebec, to get to those communities -- and to Churchill itself.

That's because one of those 500-year events that's become so common lately knocked out the rail line to Churchill this spring. With that, Churchill flipped from being the port to supply Hudson Bay and the western Arctic, to being a fly-in community.

That's similar to what's happened in the NWT and the northern reaches of Ontario, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan: they're supplied by a seasonal road only open in winter -- the roads follow frozen lakes and rivers. That season is getting shorter. Increasingly often they're stuck flying in all their supplies -- even the diesel for heat and electricity.

TerryM

  • ASIF Upper Class
  • Posts: 1720
    • View Profile
Re: Arctic transport affected by climate change
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2017, 07:48:02 PM »
I've thought that this might be an opportune time to nationalize, or re-nationalize, a certain rail line whose operations effect the well being of many Canadians.
Do you know how much the isolation of Churchill has effected the cost of shipping in the Canadian North?
My understanding is that when Harper broke up the Canadian Wheat Board, over the objections of virtually everyone who had relied on their services, grain shipments to Churchill were curtailed. If true the tracks may never again turn a profit, but they still provided a vital land link to the north.


Very interested in your experiences and operations.
Terry

numerobis

  • ASIF Citizen
  • Posts: 111
    • View Profile
Re: Arctic transport affected by climate change
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2017, 10:04:04 PM »
Compare in the link below the lines KIVALLIQ DE STE- CATHERINE (MONTRÉAL) and KIVALLIQ DE CHURCHILL (Kivalliq is central Nunavut). It's 40% more expensive to send stuff up or back by boat to/from Montreal compared to Churchill (empty containers coming back are the same price).
https://uploads.visionw3.com/sitefiles/arcticsealift.com/tarifs/nunavut_tarifs_2017.pdf

But your stuff probably didn't just pop out of the aether at the port all nicely bundled up. So the calculation will be more complicated: maybe it turns out a bit cheaper for you to get your stuff to Ste-Catherine than to Churchill, so it's not that big a deal; or maybe it's more expensive.

Apparently the first ship already visited Rankin. I don't know how that compares to the usual schedule. It's due to land in Churchill today at some point:
https://www.arcticsealift.com/schedule.php (look at the Camilla Desgagnés).

The other shipper to the Qikiqtaaluk (Baffin, Ellesmere, etc) has a similar schedule and cost out of Montreal; I don't know if they normally ship from Churchill, but it looks like they're adding it as a special new destination for the third shipment, so that sounds like no.
http://www.neas.ca