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Rail News: Intermodal

CN, terminal operator expect no more container backlogs at Vancouver port


Import containers are flowing again at the Port of Vancouver’s Delatport terminal. Yesterday, Canadian National Railway Co. and Deltaport operator Terminal Systems Inc. (TSI) announced the container backlog created in January by severe winter weather and an unexpected import surge has eased.

CN added car capacity at the terminal and TSI temporarily reduced vessel discharges 25 percent to clear the backlog.

To avoid congestion, TSI plans to add cranes, rubber-tired gantries and support equipment at the port’s Deltaport and Vanterm terminals. CN will employ its Intermodal Excellence (IMX) reservation system — which controls container traffic destined to Vancouver from Toronto, Montreal and Winnipeg — to provide the terminals a more consistent car supply. Implemented in 2003 in CN’s domestic market, the reservation system is designed to improve network fluidity and asset utilization, increase capacity and reduce costs.

The Class I and TSI also formed a working committee with steamship company representatives to address issues.

"We now have a four-week rolling forecast of expected import traffic to Deltaport that will allow all stakeholders to anticipate incoming container volumes,” said CN vice president of IMX Paul Waite in a prepared statement. “We think that by working together better, the railways, ports and steamship companies could effectively increase capacity of the intermodal system by 15 percent to 20 percent, and reduce costs."

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 4/15/2005