CN signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Alabama State Port Authority (ASPA), owner of the public terminals at the port of Mobile, which intends to drive increased supply chain efficiency and reflects the railway’s continued focus on developing highly efficient Gulf of Mexico gateways for international trade.

A key signatory to CN’s MOU is APM Terminals Mobile, LLC., which operates a 95-acre, deep-sea container terminal at the port. The state-of-the-art container terminal is adjacent to the intermodal rail facility now under construction by ASPA, which is building the US$32-million terminal that will permit the direct and fluid transfer of containers between vessels and railcars in the spring of 2016.

CN signed a similar MOU with Port of New Orleans aimed at drawing more container traffic over the port to North American markets. Port of New Orleans has an intermodal rail terminal adjacent to its Napoleon Avenue Container Terminal providing on-dock access for all rail shipments. The new Mississippi River Intermodal Terminal, a U.S.$25 million project now under construction for completion in Q1 of 2016, will be a modern, efficient intermodal container transfer terminal located within the container yard, offering on-dock access and improving CN’s link to the terminal and helping grow its container volumes. The New Orleans Public Belt Railroad (NOPBR), a switching railroad with the primary mission of serving the port of New Orleans and local industries, also signed the CN-Port of New Orleans MOU.

JJ Ruest, CN’s Executive Vice-President and Chief Marketing Officer, concluded: “The expanded Panama Canal is expected to offer greater freight traffic opportunities to the ports of New Orleans and Mobile. Our plan to implement level-of-service agreements at these two ports and raise their involvement in rail transportation should help them take advantage of rising container trade with Asia and South America.”