Canadian Pacific wins more Vancouver international intermodal traffic (updated)

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CALGARY, Alberta — For the second year in a row, Canadian Pacific has pulled an international intermodal contract away from rival Canadian National.

CP today announced that it would begin hauling Yang Ming Marine Transport’s containers at the Port of Vancouver, British Columbia, effective Jan. 1, 2020. The contract with the Taiwan-based steamship line runs three years.

"We are proud to be selected as Yang Ming's Canadian rail carrier, and we look forward to a long and successful relationship,” CP CEO Keith Creel said in a statement announcing the deal. “This agreement is a testament to our service, to our network capacity and room to grow at our inland terminals and to the tireless work we put in to understand our customers and create win-win solutions for the supply chain and the broader economy."

Yang Ming is part of THE Alliance, which at Vancouver also includes Hapag-Lloyd and Ocean Network Express traffic handled by CP.

In April 2018 CP began carrying 85% of the Ocean Network Express traffic at the Port of Vancouver. Ocean Network Express, or ONE, is the combination of shipping companies K-Line, MOL, and NYK.

CP previously handled just ONE’s K-Line traffic, which represents a third of the consortium’s business in Canada. CN had been the railroad hauling MOL and NYK containers.

CP lost international intermodal contracts to CN in 2013, 2014, and 2016 as it focused on more profitable domestic intermodal traffic.

At its peak, CN enjoyed a 70% market share in international container traffic at Vancouver, Canada’s busiest port. CP currently has 40% share at Vancouver, a figure that will rise to just over 50% once the Yang Ming contract begins.

Creel has said that shippers don’t want to put all of their eggs in one basket and that international intermodal market share would eventually balance out between Canada’s two biggest railways.

CP’s route from Vancouver to Chicago and other Midwestern points is shorter and faster than CN’s, an advantage CP has been seeking to exploit amid CN’s congestion problems in Western Canada.

But CN remains the dominant intermodal player in Canada, thanks in part to being the lone railroad to serve both the ports of Prince Rupert, B.C., and Halifax, Nova Scotia. Prince Rupert is North America’s fastest-growing container port.

Last year CN handled 2.6 million intermodal containers, while CP carried just over a million boxes, according to Association of American Railroads data.

— Updated at 10:30 a.m. on June with additional details and to correct that it is the second year in a row CP has won a contract away from CN.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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