CN vows to shake up eastern seaboard with Halifax port investment

CN vows to shake up eastern seaboard with Halifax port investment

Canadian National Railway has put in a preliminary joint bid to buy the largest shipping terminal in eastern Canada, with a view of stealing some of New York’s container business.

CN’s CEO, Jean-Jacques Ruest , interviewed by the Financial Post yesterday, said the company aimed to make the 30 ha Halterm Container Terminal in Halifax a “Prince Rupert of the east” if its bid is successful.

CN has driven much cargo from rival US west coast ports to the Prince Rupert terminal in British Columbia in recent years by promoting its less busy intermodal rail links that can take boxes quickly to the American Midwest and beyond.

CN has yet to reveal who it made the joint bid with for Halifax. Halterm was sold to Australia’s Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets in 2007.

CN wants to expand Halterm’s terminal capacity to be able to service two large boxships and to handle trains with a minimum length of 3,700 m.

Ruest said there are two other ports his compny is looking at as well, one in Nova Scotia and one on the St Lawrence River.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.

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