Corridor Initiative Brings Upside Risk
BMI believes that increasing investment by Canadian rail operators in developing intermodal terminals will bring upside risk not only to our rail freight forecasts for Canada, as volumes are moved off roads and onto tracks, but also our container throughput forecasts for major Canadian container facilities Metro Vancouver and Prince Rupert. The investment is in keeping with the federal government's aim to improve the speed of trade between Canadian and Midwest US heartlands with Asian markets.
A number of Canadian rail operators have been investing in new intermodal terminals and rail terminals across Canada and in the American Midwest. Canadian Pacific (CP) has recently announced the opening of a new intermodal facility at the Saskatchewan Global Transportation Hub (GTH), replacing a former facility located in downtown Regina. The facility has a handling capacity of 250,000 containers per annum - five times the size of the previous Regina facility. This takes CP's intermodal terminals to 11. Canadian National, another major rail operator, launched its new intermodal terminal at Calgary Logistics Park on January 10. The new facility has easy access to a number of major arteries including the Trans Canada Highway, in addition to being conveniently placed to send volumes by rail to either Port Metro Vancouver or Prince Rupert.
BMI has been following the trend of increasing interest in intermodal shipping for some time. Investing in rail links between ports and major industrial and agricultural centres such as Calgary brings manifold benefits; transport by train is greener than road haulage, faster, and reduces congestion on and damage to highways. The increased ease in transporting containers by investing in intermodal road, rail and port links are being pursued by the federal Canadian government through its Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor Initiative. This is a series of policy measures aimed at facilitating trade between Canada and Asian markets through developing transport links to the west coast ports.
|On Track For Growth|
|Canada Rail Freight Tonnes, 2008-20017 ('000 tonnes)|