Cosco, CN extend intermodal pact

Cosco, CN extend intermodal pact

Canadian National Railway and Cosco have extended their partnership involving intermodal rail service at the ports of Vancouver, Prince Rupert, Montreal, and Halifax. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com.

Canadian National Railway said it has extended its contract with Cosco Shipping to provide intermodal rail service for the third-largest container line at the ports of Vancouver, Prince Rupert, Montreal, and Halifax. 

Contracts between Class I railroads and container lines tend to last two to three years. The partnership between CN and Cosco was instrumental in propelling Prince Rupert from a bulk port to a major Asian gateway for US and Canadian cargo owners and forwarders. CN is also the sole rail provider at the Port of Halifax, which has positioned itself as an alternative gateway for Asia goods destined to and originating from US and Canadian markets. 

“This is yet another strategic contract signed recently. By choosing CN to service all inland destinations on the network, Cosco will be well positioned to benefit from a unique tri-coastal access,” Keith Reardon, senior vice president of consumer product supply chain at CN, said in a statement. He added CN is the exclusive rail provider for Cosco at Canadian ports. 

Cosco is the third-largest container line in terms of capacity, following Maersk and Mediterranean Shipping Co., according to maritime analyst Alphaliner. 

The announcement comes several months after rival Canadian Pacific Railway said it secured a three-year contract with Yang Ming Marine Transport Corporation. Last year, CP said it won the bulk of Ocean Network Express’ (ONE) cargo moving through Canadian ports. 

Contact Ari Ashe at ari.ashe@ihsmarkit.com and follow him on Twitter: @arijashe.