Vancouver to be Site for New Transload Facility From CP and Maersk

CP and Maersk to develop new transload facility in Vancouver
Vancouver port (file photo)

Published Sep 17, 2020 5:45 PM by The Maritime Executive

Vancouver, Canada’s largest commercial port and North America’s third largest port, will be the site for a new import transload facility that is designed to simplify operations and in turn by lowering truck transport contribute to improvements in the environment. It will also address the shortage of warehouse space experienced in the area in 2020.

Canadian Pacific Railway Limited and Maersk announced an agreement to build and operate the new transload and distribution facility in Vancouver to expand CP’s and Maersk Canada’s supply chain options for customers. The CP transload facility will be an expansion of CP’s existing Vancouver Intermodal Facility. According to CP, the new facility will further leverage the existing rail infrastructure.

“CP’s unique landholdings in Vancouver enable us to bring to market a first-of-its-kind transload facility that creates tremendous opportunity for sustainable growth,” said CP’s President and CEO Keith Creel. “Together with Maersk, the global shipping leader, we will transform intermodal transportation in North America.”

The transload facility is designed to apply Maersk’s global integrator of container logistics strategy and will offer customers access to a multi-commodity transload facility that will rely on the substantial use of rail instead of truck in the Vancouver market, as CP will shuttle containers to and from the ocean terminals via rail. Maersk’s ambition to establish a sustainable supply chain aligns with CP’s initiatives to fight climate change. They believe that this combination will provide an effective and efficient long-term intermodal solution for customers.

Rendering of the new transload facility from CP and Maersk

 “This agreement installs more agile supply chain options and capacity to and from Vancouver for our North American customers,” said Omar Shamsie, President of Maersk Canada. “We can now offer more responsiveness to the pace of business by giving supply chain leaders more control of order timing/fulfillment through inland routing flexibility, better velocity gained from one day savings of rail versus truck and cost savings through seamless transload operations into domestic 53 foot trailers. We feel this is quite compelling to lower their year-on-year cost goals while creating a more sustainable supply chain with less truck emissions.”

Discussing the current situation in the port, the companies noted the impact of marketplace fluctuations, e-commerce demands and omnichannel fulfillment. They noted that Vancouver warehouse space has been tight in 2020, which, combined with Vancouver ports experiencing high utilization, has placed pressure on supply chain performance.

The new import transload facility, is expected to be operational in 2021, and the companies believe that it will greatly enhance operations, simplify the current situation and create more end-to-end supply chain solutions by reducing multi-modal handoffs.