Monday, August 14, 2017

CP launches direct Vancouver-Detroit service

Written by  Stuart Chirls, senior editor, Railway Age

Canadian Pacific Railway announced the launch of direct rail service between Vancouver and Detroit.


The service was first announced by CP Chief Executive Keith Creel in June, at the Railway Age Rail Insights Conference & Expo in Chicago.

The service connects CP's new transload facility in Vancouver and its live-lift operation at Portal, N.D., reducing cross-border shipment times for competing transit options from the West Coast to Detroit by as much as 48 hours, the railroad said.

"We've worked hard to reshape our footprint in theVancouver area to improve efficiency and boost capacity for our customers," said John Brooks, CP senior vice-president and chief marketing officer. "And now, with our live-lift operation in Portal, we can expedite service and truly exploit the strengths of our network to provide unparalleled service and value in the Vancouver-to-Detroit lane."

CP's new service runs from Vancouver to Detroit seven days a week.

"CP recognizes our customers' need to get their goods to the key markets of the U.S. as efficiently as possible," said Hardy Pearson, senior vice-president for the Midwest and Northeast for ocean carrier Hapag-Lloyd. "Simply put, shorter transit times, a more fluid border crossing and near seamless movement through Chicago means not only lower costs but better, more consistent access to the right markets."

The new Vancouver transload, now in operation, is co-located at CP's carload and intermodal facility, enabling the railroad to utilize rail for movements between terminals and ports where others must rely on trucks, reducing traffic congestion in the Vancouver area and resulting in a lower cost, environmentally friendly, strategic advantage.

Live lift operations started at CP's Portal border crossing in the second quarter. CP can lift single containers off of trains for inspection by customs authorities rather than having entire intermodal railcar platforms – which can carry up to 15 containers – held up. "This eliminates delays to containers not flagged for inspection, making it easier and faster for customers to do cross-border business in a lane where CP already offers the fastest transit times between Vancouver and the Twin Cities, Chicago and beyond." The company said.

From Detroit, CP now serves both the Port of Montreal and the Port of Vancouver daily in and out of its CP-controlled terminal, which includes more than 17 acres to support customers' growth, including an empty annex adjacent to the Detroit terminal.

Brooks said the new service is "just the beginning" as the railroad works with customers to find innovative total transportation solutions that increase efficiency, expands capacity and enhances value for all stakeholders.