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Maersk and Canadian Pacific open Vancouver transload facility

Pacific Transload Express facility serves Asia-Pacific Northwest supply chain

Maersk and Canadian Pacific have opened a new transloading facility in Vancouver. (Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

A transload facility at Vancouver developed by Maersk and Canadian Pacific is open for business.

The new Pacific Transload Express facility will bring “more speed and agility to demand fluctuations while also reducing demurrage and detention costs,” Maersk touted Thursday. The facility opened Sept. 1, with the first containers arriving earlier this week. 

The facility consists of 117,000 square feet and 103 doors, and it has the ability to transload international containers into domestic 53-foot trailers. Maersk Warehousing & Distribution will serve as the facility’s exclusive operator.

The facility, which aims to serve customers involved in the Asia-Pacific Northwest supply chain, will “achieve overall cost savings (per cubic meter) for domestic distribution while reducing storage costs related to port demurrage and inland detention,” Maersk said. Anticipated customers primarily will include “fast-moving consumer goods” in the retail and lifestyle segment, with auto parts representing the remainder of customers. 

“Bringing this new supply chain asset into play today marks an important new Asia-PNW gateway chapter for customers looking for faster order fulfillment achieved through integrated logistics. We’re looking forward to working with CP to make this a vital pivot point for supply chain planners to help them achieve their business goals,” said Maersk Canada President Omar Shamsie. 

A rendering of the new facility. (Image: Maersk)

The facility was built on land owned by CP (NYSE: CP) that is adjacent to its intermodal facility in Vancouver. CP will shuttle containers by rail from the three major Vancouver container terminals — the Centerm, Vanterm and Deltaport terminals — to the Pacific Transload Express facility, Maersk said. 

“We are very proud to open this first-of-its-kind transload facility that creates tremendous opportunity for sustainable growth,” said CP President and CEO Keith Creel. “We are transforming inbound logistics in North America by reducing transit time variability thanks to CP’s premium service and at the same time having a smaller environmental impact and carbon footprint by taking thousands of trucks off the road while leveraging the inherent benefits of moving goods by rail.”

The facility is part of an effort to reduce transit times, which can range from 35 to 75 days from an origin in Asia to a destination in North America. Maersk intends to add a sortation system at the facility to support operations there. 

“We can help our customers reduce the transit time variation from 35-75 days door-to-door to having the cargo in consistently at 35-40 days,” said Erez Agmoni, head of Maersk North America’s warehousing and distribution product development. “This helps customers create a more precise and predictable supply chain that helps them reduce safety stock, saving money on inventory storage costs with this transload solution.”

Maersk also said the facility will help meet environmental social governance goals because integrating and extending CP rail service from the Port of Vancouver “will eliminate over 100,000 truck trips per year in the Vancouver area (almost 60,000 round trips per year) and save over 4,000 tons of carbon dioxide (greenhouse gas) emissions per year, which is equivalent to the CO2 emissions of 9,261 barrels of oil consumed.”

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Joanna Marsh

Joanna is a Washington, DC-based writer covering the freight railroad industry. She has worked for Argus Media as a contributing reporter for Argus Rail Business and as a market reporter for Argus Coal Daily.