Inside Logistics

CN boosts Brampton terminal

Plans for intermodal service improvements


May 19, 2011
by MM&D staff

TORONTO: CN is making capacity improvements to accommodate growing container volumes at its Brampton Intermodal Terminal (BIT) and to ensure a high level of service for intermodal customers across its system.

BIT, located in the prime logistics area of Greater Toronto, is Canada’s largest rail intermodal terminal and a key component in CN’s distribution network—almost 60 percent of the railway’s system-wide intermodal business touches the terminal. CN’s rail intermodal traffic consists primarily of containerized cargo moving in cooperation with other transportation modes.

Claude Mongeau, president and chief executive officer of CN, said: “Intermodal is one of CN’s fastest-growing business segments. We are investing in new track, equipment and other infrastructure improvements at BIT to take our intermodal service offering to the next level in efficiently distributing growing overseas container traffic reaching our network over Canadian ports as well as rising domestic intermodal shipments across Canada.”

Charles Campbell, managing director of NYK Line (Canada) Inc., part of the international marine transportation company and the NYK Group, said: “As is evident in many areas of CN’s intermodal operations, we have seen major improvements at Brampton Intermodal Terminal. The shortening of turn times at BIT reflects this effort. In general, the service level across the CN network has improved as CN continues to listen and react to customer input.”

CN’s BIT improvements include:

  • The installation of new track and extension of existing track to increase rail capacity by close to 15 percent;
  • Creation of approximately 25 percent more ground space for international containers by staging CN containers offsite;
  • Purchasing five new cranes in 2011, after the acquisition of five new ones last fall, and,
  • Increasing the labour force by about 10 percent in 2011.


These customer-focused initiatives follow construction of new entry and exit lanes for truckers last December that increased BIT’s gate throughput by 33 percent.

BIT’s 2011 intermodal volumes through the end of April increased by 12 percent over figures for the comparable period of 2010.

CN’s total 2010 intermodal volumes increased by 17 percent over 2009 to 1,455,000 units, while intermodal revenues last year rose by 18 percent to C$1,576 million.