CN began operation of its Prince George intermodal and distribution center terminal, which will play a significant role in generating backhaul traffic destined for Asian markets via the new Port of Prince Rupert, BC, container terminal that opens in October 2007.

Jim Vena, senior vice-president of CN’s Western Region, said: “Built by CN at a cost of C$20 million, the Prince George terminal operation will help to maximize the Port of Prince Rupert’s role as Canada’s newest Pacific gateway for containerized traffic moving between Asia and North America. The Port of Prince Rupert is the closest port to Asia by up to 58 hours of sailing time compared to other west coast port in North America. CN will transport containers between the port and the principal centers of the US Midwest, South and central Canada via its network spanning Canada and mid-America.”

Prince George, located 500 miles east of Prince Rupert, is in close proximity to British Columbia’s large fiber reserves and other natural resources. It is also CN’s divisional headquarters and main operations hub in northern BC.

Vena said: “The new Prince George facility is ideally situated to tap backhaul export opportunities, filling empty containers moving back to Asia through Prince Rupert with lumber, panels, woodpulp, paper, as well as ores, plastics and some metal products. The new traffic will not only boost CN business but also generate new employment opportunities in the Prince George area.”

The Prince George Distribution Centre has an 84,000 square-foot warehouse and 10 acres of outside storage. A full range of services will be provided by CN WorldWide North America, including product transfer, inspection, consolidation/deconsolidation, inventory control and transportation.

Loaded containers will be lifted onto railway flatcars at CN’s new adjacent intermodal rail yard, which features two, 2,400-foot pad tracks, trucking and truck-pick-up capabilities and an automated gate system.

CN is providing direct, daily rail service from the Prince George facility to the Port of Prince Rupert. (Marketwire)