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American Shipper

Prince Rupert container terminal open on Canadian West Coast

Prince Rupert container terminal open on Canadian West Coast

The Port of Prince Rupert, British Columbia, Wednesday celebrated the opening of the first phase of its C$170 million ($164.4 million) container terminal project that aims to have a handling capacity of 4 million TEUs by 2015.

   The Fairview Container Terminal has an initial design capacity of 500,000 TEUs and has been funded by five partners:

   * Maher Terminals, C$60 million ($58 million), including the three super-post Panamax cranes.

   * Government of Canada, C$30 million ($29 million).

   * Province of British Columbia, C$30 million.

   * Canadian National Railway Co., C$25 million ($24.2 million) towards the terminal’s rail-related infrastructure.

   * Prince Rupert Port Authority, C$25 million.

   In addition, under the Asia Pacific Gateway and Corridor Initiative, the Canadian Border Services Agency will invest C$28 million ($27.1 million) to establish a container screening program.

   'Our stars have aligned,' said Don Krusel, Prince Rupert Port Authority president and chief executive officer. 'Our timing couldn't have been better to bring on stream this high-performing container terminal to anchor a new express trade corridor. We will be able to offer both Asian and North American shippers unparalleled reliability, efficiency and speed in moving their products through our port.'

   Hunter Harrison, president of CN, which owns and operates the northern mainline from Prince Rupert to Winnipeg, said, “This new injection of meaningful port-rail-terminal capacity into the global supply chain will offer shippers the fastest, most efficient and most cost-effective routing for Asian traffic destined to and from the interior of North America.'

   Maher Terminals Chairman Brian Maher said, 'We were aware of the skepticism because the conventional port model is to build near large concentrated urban areas and not in isolated areas with no local markets. But our family has been in the terminal operations business long enough to know a good thing when we see it.

   “With West Coast ports already congested and grappling with an ever increasing flow of Asian trade, we saw one of the deepest harbors in North America with no congestion, two to three days closer to Asia than any other West Coast ports and one of the best rail lines on the continent with plenty of capacity.'

   In May, Maher contracted with China’s COSCO Container Lines to become the first shipping line to call at the new terminal from the fourth quarter.

   To support the move, COSCO Container Lines Americas Inc. has signed a contract with the CN to move cargo from Prince Rupert over the railroad’s North American network.

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