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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Canadian food shipper's planned distribution center suits CPR's intermodal strategy


In August, Westfair Foods Ltd. plans to begin building a $20 million, 260,000-square-foot distribution center east of Vancouver, British Columbia — next door to Canadian Pacific Railway's Vancouver intermodal terminal. The food shipper recently signed a long-term intermodal contract with CPR to serve the new facility, which is scheduled to open by year end.

"Transportation is a major cost factor in the distribution of food and any initiative to make transportation more efficient is a step forward," said Westfair Foods Vice President Bruce Kent in a prepared statement.

Westfair Foods is the first Canadian food shipper to solely tie its distribution needs to rail, said John McBoyle, CPR general manager, domestic intermodal.

"By co-locating facilities with our customers, we can provide more efficient service at a lower cost, which will benefit Westfair's customers," he said.

During the past few years, Sears Canada, Canadian Tire, Consolidated Fastfrate and other shippers have built regional distribution centers adjacent to CPR's intermodal facilities.

Intermodal continues to drive the Class I's revenue. During the past five years, CPR's intermodal revenue has increased 30 percent or $200 million compared with the mid-1990s. Last year, intermodal revenue rose 10 percent compared with 2001, and in the first quarter increased 9 percent or $19 million compared with first-quarter 2002.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 5/28/2003