CN and CSX announce new intermodal service offering

CN and CSX have announced a new intermodal service offering, effective October 7, between CN’s greater Montreal & Southern Ontario areas, and the CSX-served ports of Philadelphia, New York, New Jersey and the New York City metropolitan area.

Over the long term, the freight market will increasingly depend on demand driven by the consumer economy and the rail industry must create new intermodal services that can successfully rival the over the road options,” said JJ Ruest, CN’s President and CEO. “This interline service fits perfectly with our strategic focus on feeding our unique network through organic and inorganic growth opportunities, including extending our reach into new geographic markets.” “This new intermodal offering aims to convert long-haul trucks to interline rail services,” explained Keith Reardon, Senior Vice-President, Consumer Product supply chain at CN. “Trains will run directly into the heart of the metropolitan markets of Toronto and Montreal via CN intermodal yards, making this partnership a natural opportunity for both railroads.”

Although details of the impact of the agreement are not available, it is reported that one immediate impact of it will be the closing of CSX’ terminal in Valleyfield, Quebec, at the beginning in October. The terminal has been in operation since 2015, when it was opened at a cost of $107 million. Expected to process in excess of 100,000 containers annually a few years following its opening, the terminal never met volume expectations, and actually never handled more than 100 containers per day.

Champion Iron ships ten millionth tonne of iron ore from Bloom Lake

Through the facilities of Port of Sept-Îles’ multi-user terminal, Champion Iron Limited announced that its subsidiary, Quebec Iron Ore Inc. shipped its tenth million tonne of high-grade 66.2% Fe iron concentrate from its Bloom Lake Iron Mine (“Bloom Lake”), located near Fermont, Quebec.

The achievement of this significant milestone occurred less than eighteen months after Bloom Lake was recommissioned, and achieved its annual full nameplate capacity of 7.4 metric tonnes per annum in its first year of operation. Champion benefits from access to world class infrastructure at the port, including access to a deep-water terminal where a Capesize vessel can be loaded in less than 40 hours. The delivery and sale of the Bloom Lake high-grade iron ore concentrate to end-users in Asia, Europe and the Middle East is being completed at a time of rising demand for high-grade iron ore concentrate with low impurities. (more…)

Captain Lorincz combines seafaring with surfing giant waves

By William Hryb

Who said you can’t be an elite world surfer and a seasoned ship master.  Well, this is exactly what Capt. Tamas Lorincz of MV Industrial Swift carries as his moniker. Born in landlocked Hungary in 1978, the gangly six foot seven inch giant is a man who not only takes chances with dangerous surfs, he commands a state of the art multi-purpose bulk carrier.

Arriving late in the evening, from Duluth, Minnesota on Friday July 26th, the Hungarian captain, along with his pilot by his side, maneuvered the bright blue hulled 12,328-tonne vessel safely into her lay-by berth, Keefer Terminal, located in the middle of the port. Even though the crew had to quickly prepare the vessel for grain loading, they welcomed the opportunity to be close by to the hustle and bustle of Thunder Bay. (more…)

Port of Johnstown to receive 12 shiploads of wind turbines – also reports receiving federal funding

The port of Johnstown will be busy during the next several months as vessels will be delivering Enercon turbine components for the Nation Rise Wind Farm project. The cargo represents a major business win for the Port, which completed a multi-million-dollar infrastructure project in 2016 that included several acres of laydown space to be able to accommodate this type of heavy-lift cargo.

The first vessel, BBC Kurt Paul, arrived August 13, 2019. In total, twelve vessels are expected to arrive over a 10-12 week period to deliver the components for this wind energy project, which is located approximately 40 kilometers southeast of Ottawa, near the South Nation River. The wind farm features 29 Enercon wind turbines and is situated in the Municipality of North Stormont within the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry. (more…)

Vancouver to benefit from $100 million in federal funding to support trade-enabling infrastructure

Vancouver Fraser Port Authority announced that it has received a commitment for over $100 million of funding from the federal government’s National Trade Corridors Fund to support infrastructure projects.

“As a Canada Port Authority, our job is to make sure the port is ready to handle Canada’s growth in trade, but we are also undertaking a number of projects beyond the port to improve the flow of goods and seek to alleviate the impacts of growing trade on local communities,” said Robin Silvester, Vancouver Fraser Port Authority’s President and CEO. “With this federal funding, we are able to take on five new projects that will enable us to continue this critical work.” The five funded projects include three infrastructure projects in Richmond and Surrey to reduce interactions between the community and road and rail activities by building overpasses and making other improvements in operations. Additional funding will support two studies that will look at how to move goods more efficiently throughout the Lower Mainland.

The funded projects were identified in the Greater Vancouver Gateway 2030 Strategy, a strategic plan developed by the Gateway Transportation Collaboration Forum. The forum is an ongoing collaborative effort to ensure the Greater Vancouver gateway is ready to manage growing trade, and its membership includes Transport Canada, the B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, TransLink and the Greater Vancouver Gateway Council.

Port of Montreal receives commitment of federal contribution to a project promoting fluidity

Through the National Trade Corridors Fund, the Government of Canada will be contributing $18.5 million to Montreal Port Authority (MPA) for its $37 million project to increase freight mobility. By creating greater fluidity and efficiency, this project addresses the constant growth in cargo volumes transiting the port of Montreal each year. It is noteworthy that from 2009 to 2018, the total number of goods handled has grown by 58 per cent to 39 million tonnes. In addition to its expansion projects and investments in infrastructure to increase land capacity, particularly at the Viau Terminal and in Contrecœur, the Port Authority is engaged in improving, modernizing and streamlining the management of cargo and containers on its docks.

“The promised financial contribution will help us provide exporters and importers with ever more smooth and efficient service, and that will keep improving our competitive position in international trade,” said Sylvie Vachon, President and CEO of the Port Authority.

CN and CP announce second quarter results

Both of Canada’s major railways announced second quarter results for the period ended June 30, and both produced great results, particularly CP. At CP, quarterly revenues rose 13 per cent, while CN’s revenues rose 11 per cent. However, while CN’s operating income rose 11 per cent, CP’s rose by 31 per cent.

At CN, operating expenses as a percentage of revenues declined slightly from 58.2 to 57.5 per cent. Cash flow from operations was up slightly to $1.72 billion from $1.68 billion, and “free” cash flow, the amount remaining from operating cash flow after subtracting net investments made during the quarter and dividends paid to investors, fell sharply from $640 million to $126 million. From Jan 1 to June 30, CN spent $864 million repurchasing its own shares (about $140 million less than in 2018), and paid $776 million in dividends. The total of these discretionary cash outflows ($1.64 billion) and the total spent on property additions and acquisitions ($2.08 billion) exceeded CN’s cash generated from operations, which caused the carrier to be a net borrower during the period. As of June 30, the company’s equity stood at $18.0 billion (as compared to $17.6 billion as at December 31, 2018). Total debt increased to $25.02 billion from $23.5 billion (Dec 31, 2018). (more…)

Proceedings of Shipping Federation Conference held in Montreal

Proceedings of Shipping Federation Conference held in Montreal

By Brian Dunn

As Laura Dawson, Director of the Wilson Centre’s Canada Institute, Washington, DC, sees it, a combination of U.S. unilateralism, a softening demand for Chinese exports and imports and the Brexit fiasco, has resulted in global instability. To make matters worse, President Donald Trump will probably get re-elected in 2020 as there’s no viable alternative.

“We feel Canadian trade representatives are doing a very good job (in the U.S.) and it’s a relationship to be managed, not cured. Our organization is non-partisan and we work with Canadian businesses to make sure Canada is not part of any collateral damage,” she said during the 18th annual conference of the Shipping Federation of Canada in Montreal on May 22. (more…)

Hunt Refrigeration finds new opportunities to continue its growth

Hunt Refrigeration finds new opportunities to continue its growth

By Brian Dunn

Alan Espey was 24 years old when he came to Montreal from Dublin to launch a new company with the intention of only staying for a year. That was back in 1985 and he’s still here.

The company he launched with co-founder James Spicer was Hunt Refrigeration Canada Inc. with CP Ships being its first customer. Mr. Spicer passed away in 2003 and Rob Nadeau, who joined the company in 1987, became a partner and part of the management team. Mr. Nadeau retired last year and Mr. Espey is semi-retired, but is overseeing the transition to the new management team of son Yanik Espey, wife Hélène Newberry and Eric Bédard. (more…)

Canada’s Infrastructure Bank signs MOU with Port of Montreal re Contrecœur development

Canada’s Infrastructure Bank signs MOU with Port of Montreal re Contrecœur development

Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) announces that it will work with Montreal Port Authority (MPA) to advance the project development of a new container terminal in Contrecœur, where the Port plans to expand its activities. The Memorandum of Understanding confirms that CIB and MPA will conduct due diligence on the proposed terminal, which will include planning and pre-procurement activities for the design, construction, financing, operation and maintenance of the terminal. CIB’s work could lead to an investment in the project. (more…)

Ray-Mont Logistics announces new plastic pellet export facility at Port of Prince Rupert

Ray-Mont Logistics has announced that a new facility for bagging plastic pellets in containers and shipping them out of the port of Prince Rupert is currently being built. The project’s first phase is currently under construction and is expected to be completed by the end of August 2019. Once the first phase is completed, the multi-million dollar facility will improve the speed and efficiency of plastic pellet exports in containers for producers in Alberta served by CN. Having the ability to bag their product locally at the port, producers will now have direct access to the shipping lines that call on this key Canadian West Coast gateway, accessing the global market. (more…)

Canadian Pacific moves record amount of Canadian grain and grain products during 2018-2019 crop year

​Canadian Pacific moved a record amount of Canadian grain and grain products during the 2018-2019 crop year. The final tally for the crop year stands at 26.8 million metric tonnes (MMT) of Canadian grain and grain products, 2.8 percent more than the prior record set in the previous season and 3.9 percent more than the three-year average.

CP’s 8,500-foot High Efficiency Product (HEP) train model, announced last summer, continues to gain significant traction with CP customers. Construction is currently underway at five CP-served facilities in Canada, enabling producers to start shipping under the HEP train model this fall. These add to the seven existing CP-served 8,500-foot loop-track facilities. Four additional 8,500-foot HEP-qualified facilities will be operating by spring 2020. (more…)