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High Winds Cause Truck Backlog on East Coast

NORTH SYDNEY, NS. — "One big tractor-trailer parking lot" was the subject line in an email from Today's Trucking reader Tom Jackman this afternoon.

Jackman was passing along a story from CBC on Marine Atlantic working to clear a backlog of commercial vehicles on route to Newfoundland.

Weather has been less than agreeable in the Atlantic region this winter, with high winds keeping ferries docked.

As of Thursday morning, ferries had moved "270 truck and trailers in the preceding 36 hours," CBC reported. "A hundred more were still in North Sydney, waiting to make the crossing."

"I don't know if it's because weather patterns are changing, but the bad weather has been on the rise for the last couple of months," Jean Marc Picard, executive director of the Atlantic Provinces Trucking Association (APTA), told todaystrucking.com.

"Obviously the carriers are starting to feel frustrated, but there's no other alternative — there's OceanX, but some of those carriers can only rely on Marine Atlantic," he said.

Picard said that the APTA is meeting with Marine Atlantic on the 19th to discuss service options. "But at the end of the day, options are pretty limited. "

For now, Picard said the APTA is in constant communication with Marine Atlantic. "We try to inform the carriers so they don't get stuck at the port for a couple of days; it's the only thing we can do right now."

And Jackman? "Pitfalls of living on an island in the North Atlantic," he said.

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