From Philly, CN-CSX offering two-day service to Canadian markets

boatboat CN Rail, in partnership with CSX, is offering two-day refrigerated rail service between the Port of Philadelphia and Montreal and Toronto.

CN Rail — the Canadian National Railway Company — and CSX, launched this joint service in October 2019.

Containerships calling on the Delaware River send refrigerated containers directly to CSX’s railyard adjacent to Philadelphia’s Packer Avenue Terminal.

Narin Seepersad, CN’s Market Manager for the Cold Supply Chain segment indicated that since its inception, the CN-CSX partnership has regularly moved refrigerated cargo both in and out of the Port of Philadelphia on a weekly basis. CN is working in close partnership with the main ocean carriers calling at the port to provide this unique service.

Perishable cargo carried by CSX-CN to Montreal and Toronto involves a wide range of fresh commodities, including bananas, grapes, mangos, apples, pineapples, and asparagus. Frozen berries, cauliflower, meat, and fish are other northbound cargos transported on a daily basis. Seepersad added that the service has also provided a solution for Canadian exporters that are shipping via the Port of Philadelphia to connect with outbound cargo ships.

He also noted that CN has a long experience in serving many seaports across North America, including Montreal and Halifax, as well as Ports of Vancouver and Prince Rupert and the U.S. Gulf ports of New Orleans and Mobile. “CN views the Philadelphia service as a key growth opportunity and is excited to be able to include this as part of our network scope. CN looks forward to continuing to support the growth we have seen in this market since the service started.”

Sean Mahoney, marketing director of PhilaPort, which owns the Packer Avenue Terminal, noted that such sea-rail reefer connections are very unusual because of the required infrastructure positioning and coordination.

The rail service provides yet another reason for global perishable exporters to ship into Philadelphia, Mahoney noted.

The service is supported by CN’s fleet of IntelliGEN Powerpack generators, each of which provides power for up to 17 Ocean Carrier refrigerated containers. CN is the only Class 1 Railroad in the U.S. providing this unique service. Ocean Carrier refrigerated containers are stacked two-high on the rail cars and move safely on rail connected to CN’s IntelliGEN Powerpack to destination.

In an earlier CN press release, JJ Ruest, CN’s president and chief executive officer, indicated, “Over the long term, the freight market will increasingly depend on demand driven by the consumer economy and the rail industry must create new intermodal services that can successfully rival the over the road options. This interline service fits perfectly with our strategic focus on feeding our unique network through organic and inorganic growth opportunities, including extending our reach into new geographic markets.”

“This new intermodal offering aims to convert long-haul trucks to interline rail services,” explained Keith Reardon, senior vice president of consumer product supply chain at CN. “Trains will run directly into the heart of the metropolitan markets of Toronto and Montreal via CN intermodal yards, making this partnership a natural opportunity for both railroads.”

“CSX is pleased to work with CN to deliver superior all-rail intermodal service into the Montreal and Toronto markets,” said Jim Foote, president and chief executive officer at CSX. “Answering a need expressed by our customers, this new service positions us to capture market share from trucks and increases capacity in these expedited lanes, as larger container ships call at the Port of Philadelphia and Port of New York and New Jersey.”

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