Mongeau, speaking to the Halifax Chamber of Commerce/Port Days 2013, said CN’s collaboration agreements with the Halifax Port Authority and its two container terminal operators, Halterm Container Terminal Ltd. and Cerescorp Company Ltd., are “creating faster and more reliable supply chains, demonstrating the benefits of teamwork and generating positive responses from international shipping lines and their customers.”
The agreements dating back to 2010 were the first signed by CN, which has similar ones with all of Canada’s major ports and their terminal operators. The agreements contain clear standards and performance measurement mechanisms for the railway and its partners.
Mongeau said the Port of Halifax/CN partnership faces significant competitive pressures from other ports and vessel routing options, including New York, which enjoys a large hinterland market and highly competitive sea and land distances between Asia and inland points.
“We have to work hard to compete, but we also have a strong suit: a solid eco-system of collaboration, an end-to-end view of the supply chains we serve, and access to markets with the potential to grow.”
Mongeau said temperature-sensitive cargo is one such growth opportunity. “The Port of Halifax is well equipped to handle Cool Cargo, with over 1,000 reefer plugs now, compared to 500 just a few years ago. This has been a major effort at the Port to put Halifax in the big leagues for reefer traffic. CN has also invested significantly in new generator sets on containers, with GPS and remote-monitoring capability.”
Mongeau concluded: “With a strong partnership anchored on innovation and a commitment to continuous improvement and increased productivity, CN and Halifax can have a bright future together.”