CN and NASCO announce construction of Chicago steel transloading facility

By: | at 07:00 PM | Channel(s): Intermodal News  Logistics  

CN and North America Stevedoring Company, LLC (NASCO) announced construction of a new multi-modal steel transloading facility in Chicago, the North American hub for steel transportation. NASCO is a division of Quebec Stevedoring Company Ltd. (QSL).
The new facility will be located at the Port of Chicago on 190 acres of land adjacent to CN’s Kirk Yard and Interstate 90, roughly 13 miles south of downtown Chicago. It will offer producers multi-modal transportation options by rail, truck, intermodal container, inland barge and ocean-going vessel for steel coil, sheet, plate, bar, structural, pipe and tube products, as well as dimensional loads and heavy equipment, as early as January 2011.
Jean-Jacques Ruest, executive vice-president and chief marketing officer for CN, said: “The Chicago Metals & Minerals Transload facility will give both CN and NASCO a strong foothold in the most important steel market in North America. Approximately half of steel production and consumption on the continent takes place within a 300-mile radius of Chicago. Innovative and efficient facilities are critical to the industry.
“CN will serve the facility directly, tying it into our North American rail network reaching the Atlantic, Gulf and Pacific coasts. Together with NASCO and QSL, we will offer the steel industry new transportation options to tap regional and North American markets and new port gateways for imported and exported steel. We also believe the facility will improve supply chain efficiencies for the steel industry and enhance CN’s and NASCO’s competitiveness in important steel markets.”
Denis Dupuis, founder and president of QSL, said: “This transload operation will have state-of-the-art machinery for quickly and efficiently transferring steel loads between rail, truck, intermodal container, barge and vessel. This new multi-modal option in North America’s heartland will help reduce highway congestion and provide added efficiency to all our customers.
“This partnership will benefit our 25-marine-terminal network beyond the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway system, enabling the growth of our steel-handling business. It could be the first stepping stone to future expansions along CN rail corridors.”
The new Chicago metals transload facility is part of a series of CN supply chain initiatives aimed at positioning the company to better serve its steel customers and grow its steel business. Last month, CN announced the establishment of strategic car staging locations near producer facilities, allowing it to respond quickly to steelmakers’ spot sales requirements. One staging location is at Sorel-Tracy, Que., northeast of Montreal, the other at Paris, Ont., located west of Hamilton.
CN also recently announced the acquisition of 200 standard gondolas and 200 open coil gondolas to expand and improve the quality of its freight car fleet serving the steel industry. The new gondolas and coil cars follow CN’s acquisition of almost 700 new iron ore cars this year and last for hauling pelletized iron ore in the Upper Midwest.

American Journal of Transportation