Melford, Maher team up to create new East Coast terminal

by Canadian Shipper

HALIFAX, N.S. — Melford International Terminal (MIT) has signed an agreement with Maher Terminals that will see Maher become a shareholder in and provide services for a new container terminal to be located near Melford, N.S. to be called Maher Melford Terminal. New Jersey-based Maher Terminals, operator of one of the largest marine container terminals in North America, operates world-class marine container terminals in Prince Rupert, B.C. as well as Port Elizabeth, N.J.

MIT, a privately-owned Nova Scotia company, is developing a 315-acre container terminal, an intermodal on-dock rail facility and a 1,500-acre logistics park on the mainland side of the Strait of Canso in Nova Scotia. The new Maher Melford Terminal will feature deep water berths of 60 feet at mean low water, an ice-free 100-ft deep channel and no air draft restrictions. Officials say the terminal will enable the most direct and convenient service for intermodal trade between North America and emerging Asian markets, through on-dock rail access to key markets throughout Canada and the US.

“We could not have a better partner than Maher to establish the Maher Melford Terminal as a strategic gateway for cargo moving between Asia and North America,” said Paul Martin, president of MIT. “Maher’s most recent experience in container terminal development at Maher’s Fairview Terminal in Prince Rupert, which opened in 2007, provides an invaluable benefit for the development and commercialization of Maher Melford Terminal. Maher’s experience makes them an ideal partner for Maher Melford Terminal. This terminal will, in many ways, be an East Coast version of Prince Rupert.”

“We are excited to have the opportunity to work with MIT to develop what will be a comprehensive and highly efficient container gateway on a greenfield site on the East Coast,” said John Buckley, president and CEO of Maher. “Such opportunities are rare and the increased capacity and efficiencies realized from a modern terminal are substantial. With a presence on both the East and West Coasts of North America, Maher will be well-positioned to offer customers a world-class quality service between North America and Asia.”

Maher Melford Terminal will connect to interior North American markets through intermodal rail service provided by Canadian National (CN), which serves Nova Scotia via its East Coast Mainline. The route is fully cleared in order to provide competitive double stack service. Buckley underscored the importance of working with a world-class railroad, saying, “CN has proven to be an excellent partner with Maher at the Port of Prince Rupert in British Columbia. We look forward to building upon that crucial relationship on Canada’s East Coast.”

When phase 1 of the project is completed, the US$350 million terminal will comprise two berths with initial projected capacity of 1.5 million TEUs per year. The parties intend to commence commercial operations by 2013, or as required by market demand.

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