CHICAGO, Illinois—CN has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Alabama State Port Authority (ASPA), which owns the public terminals at the Port of Mobile, intended to drive increased supply chain efficiency and a greater share of transportation markets in North America.
JJ Ruest, CN executive vice-president and chief marketing officer, said: “We believe the agreement -– similar to ones CN has signed with all of Canada’s major ports and intermodal terminals — will extend the geographic reach of the Port of Mobile so that we all can take advantage of potential new container rail traffic following completion of the Panama Canal expansion project in 2016.”
A key signatory to CN’s MOU for the Port of Mobile gateway is APM Terminals Mobile, LLC. APM Terminals operates a 95-acre, deep-sea container terminal at the Port of Mobile. The state-of-the-art container terminal is adjacent to the intermodal rail facility now under construction. The ASPA is building the US$32-million rail terminal that will permit the direct and fluid transfer of containers between vessel and rail car in the spring of 2016.
James Lyons, chief executive officer of the ASPA, said: “The completion of an adjacent rail container transfer facility at our port in the spring of 2016 will improve our ability to handle container traffic. Our future level-of-service agreement with our port partners will create a range of competitive key performance indicators through a system that encourages collaboration and accountability, for the benefit of our mutual customers.”
Ruest concluded: “With increased canal capacity and the new rail facility at the Port of Mobile, CN sees a ‘third-coast’ opportunity for increased volumes of container traffic entering North America via the Gulf of Mexico. We’re looking forward to working with our partners in Mobile to make their supply chains more competitive and grow our business with them.”