Tuesday, May 09, 2017

As biggest boxship docks, Vancouver's Deltaport growth tied to rail partnerships

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The largest container vessel to call Canada arrived on May 5 at Global Container Terminals (GCT) Deltaport, located in the Port of Vancouver. The port was able to attract the vessel due in part to its enhanced rail connections.

GCT Canada said the Hapag-Lloyd vessel is the first of a progressive ship upsizing that has been deployed as part of the Transport High Efficiency ("THE") Alliance's Transpacific mainline West Coast PN3 service.

"Our dedicated PN3 shuttle service is a competitive East-West product with short transit times," said Wolfgang Schoch, senior vice president of Hapag-Lloyd (Canada). "Working together with our supply chain partners, through this facility our cargo reaches more than 20 destinations across Canada and the US Midwest."

THE Alliance is comprised of Japan's Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK Line) and Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (“K” Line), along with Hapag-Lloyd, United Arab Shipping Co. (UASC) and Yang Ming Transport. The three Japanese carriers plan to merge their container operations by April 1, 2018. Hapag-Lloyd and UASC have announced their own merger, by May 31 of this month.

Improved transit times and the ability to reach various destinations were made possible through GCT Deltaport's recently completed Intermodal Yard Reconfiguration project. The CA$280-million ($204-million) project increases rail capacity by more than 50% within the yard's existing footprint and enables the port to better handle big ship surge volumes.

GCT Deltaport also credits improved rail transit times on collaboration between itself and its rail partners Canadian National and Canadian Pacific.

"CP is proud of its relationship with GCT Canada and Hapag-Lloyd, and looks forward to unlocking future international intermodal growth as a result of the improvements at GCT Deltaport," said John Brooks, CP's senior vice-president and chief marketing officer. "CP's customers enjoy the fastest service from Vancouver to Minneapolis, Chicago and beyond and in close collaboration with our supply chain partners, we will continue to leverage our competitive advantage."

"CN's vast network connects the Canadian West Coast Gateway to the largest number of destinations across Canada and the United States and is big ship- and big alliance-ready," said Keith Reardon, vice president of intermodal and automotive at CN.

The railroad notes that with its acquisition and integration of the Elgin, Joliet & Eastern Railway, CN is able to offer the fastest route from Asia to the Midwest.

"Our service level agreements with ports and partners across North America has created the fastest and most reliable supply chain from Asia to our customers' front doors. We provide truck and rail options to efficiently move freight from the port and GTC to final destinations from Toronto to Detroit to Chicago to Memphis and beyond," Reardon said.


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