Cold weather across eastern North America prompted heavy delays in shipping operations.
Inchcape Shipping Services said delays have been occurring since Jan. 4 because of the frigid weather. They have been caused primarily by ice buildup between Lanoraie and the Three Rivers (St. Lawrence River).
Three Canadian Coast Guard ice breakers have been working around the clock in the area since then, but no ships have been allowed to depart Montreal outbound, Inchcape Shipping Services said in a statement.
There are five ships docked at Montreal awaiting favorable ice conditions and Canadian Coast Guard Ice Operations advise that shipping could resume for departures today.
In addition, 12 ships are tied up at Three Rivers and Quebec, awaiting transit to Montreal. Reports confirm that one tanker broke free from its moorings and drifted aground in the Sorel area, but the vessel has been recovered and is alongside in Sorel, awaiting inspections.