New CPR contracts will service U.S. Heartland

by Canadian Shipper

Canadian Pacific Railway is going to double its transPacific container volumes into the Midwest U.S. market through the Port of Vancouver. Intermodal business is CPR’s number one revenue-generator, and the railway has new contracts to serve three shipping lines. Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL), NYK Lines and Lykes Lines will make Vancouver their gateway to U.S. destinations with CPR as the land carrier to Chicago.

CPR’s single-line routing will take containers on double-stack dedicated
trains from Vancouver to Moose Jaw, Sask., then south through North Dakota,
the Twin Cities and Milwaukee and into Chicago where they will
connect with all the major U.S. railways for traffic moving to other U.S.

The contracts were announced today by Robert Ritchie, CPR President and CEO, in a speech to the World Ports Conference in Montreal.

“We have built up our infrastructure to offer a stand-out level of service into the U.S. heartland off the West Coast. CPR’s competitiveness continues to be recognized and rewarded with growth in the market,” said Ritchie.

CPR provides dedicated double-stack container train service into Chicago, with fourth-day arrival. OOCL and NYK will combine their loads to make a weekly call at eltaport, the Port of Vancouver’s ultramodern container terminal, which is served directly by CPR. Lykes Lines will also call weekly at the Port of Vancouver. All the shipping lines will take on container traffic from CPR destined for Asian markets.

With the contract, Lykes Lines launches a new service between Asia and North America and makes its first foray into Vancouver.

The contract with CPR will for the first time put their U.S.-bound container shipments through Vancouver.

“With the Port of Vancouver, we’ve built a partnership that is focused on the US$1 billion-a-year market in transPacific shipments into the Midwest. About 40 per cent of CPR’s business moves in and out of a seaport and this sector of the business continues to grow because of our service offering,” said Ritchie.

To encourage growth along the Vancouver-Chicago corridor, CPR has invested to expand track capacity and increase train speed, purchasing a fleet of 330 high-performance alternating current locomotives to provide highly reliable service across its network. Another 51 locomotives were ordered this year. The railway also modernized its Chicago yard, which includes a large intermodal terminal, to speed freight throughput in the Chicago hub. The Port of Vancouver and its container terminal operators, meanwhile, have also expanded capacity at their facilities.

CPR already serves OOCL through the ports of Montreal and New York/New Jersey, NYK through the Port of Montreal, and Lykes through the Port of New York/New Jersey.

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