Canadian Packaging

Quebec City to Toronto in 38 hours…by rail


August 9, 2010
by Purchasingb2b Staff

Thanks to a new deal, certain freight trains running between Quebec City and Toronto are poised to run 30 percent faster.

CN has entered into a service arrangement with the Port of Quebec and terminal operators International-Matex Tank Terminals (IMTT) to reduce transit times for import shipments destined for Toronto and beyond.

How will this happen? The port and terminal operator have agreed to provide more consistent release times for shipments. For its part, CN has promised to adjust its schedules to expedite rail traffic between the two markets.

The changes are expected to reduce the transit time from 53 hours to 38 hours for trains included in the partnership.

This is good news for shippers who rely on rail shipments from IMTT, including Air Canada, which ships its jet fuel by train from the Port of Quebec to a terminal near Toronto’s Lester B Pearson International Airport.

Marc Dulude, executive vice-president and chief operating officer of IMTT’s operations at the Port of Quebec, says the deal will drive new efficiencies in Canada’s supply chain.

“Toronto is now only hours away from Quebec City, and this significant performance improvement will benefit other markets near Toronto and further west.”

Ross Gaudreault, president and chief executive officer of the Quebec Port Authority, added that the partnership will open up new markets.

“The Toronto and the US midwest markets are more accessible than ever before by rail for both the port and its partner terminal operators,” he said.

As for CN, its representatives say the new arrangement complements its efforts to provide better end-to-end solutions. 

“Improved transit times from the Port of Quebec to the North American interior will help the port accommodate more merchandise and bulk commodity traffic with greater efficiency,” said Jeff Liepelt, CN senior vice-president, eastern region.

So far, only bulk commodities travelling through IMTT will benefit from the speedier service. But CN says it will explore opportunities to expedite the rail shipment of other commodities moving over the Port of Quebec, including metals and minerals concentrates.

Photo courtesy of CN