CN expands Gulf of Mexico gateway focus with Port of New Orleans deal

Canadian National announced that it has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Port of New Orleans to develop supply chain efficiencies that aim to draw more container traffic through the port to North American markets.

JJ Ruest, Canadian National’s Executive Vice-President and Chief Marketing Officer said, “We and our Port of New Orleans gateway partners have a mutual interest in ensuring a more competitive rail movement of containerized goods through the gateway and into the Midwest and mid-continent.”

The Port of New Orleans has an intermodal rail terminal adjacent to its Napoleon Avenue Container Terminal that provides on-dock access for all rail shipments. The new Mississippi River Intermodal Terminal is now under construction. When completed in the first quarter of 2016 the US$25m project will result in a modern, efficient intermodal container transfer terminal located within the container yard, offering on-dock access and improving CN’s link to the terminal and helping grow its container volumes.

The New Orleans Public Belt Railroad (NOPBR), a switching railroad with the primary mission of serving the Port of New Orleans and local industries, also signed the CN-Port of New Orleans memorandum of understanding.

CN’s Port of New Orleans memorandum of understanding follows the signing of a similar agreement with the Alabama State Port Authority, which owns the public terminals at the Port of Mobile. Both agreements are part of Canadian Pacific’s strategy to develop highly efficient Gulf of Mexico gateways for international trade.

Ruest concluded, “The expanded Panama Canal is expected to offer greater freight traffic opportunities to the ports of New Orleans and Mobile. Our plan to implement level-of-service agreements at these two ports and raise their involvement in rail transportation should help them take advantage of rising container trade with Asia and South America.”