CN (TSX: CNR) (NYSE: CNI) and Duluth Cargo Connect have announced a new alliance establishing the first rail-served intermodal container ramp in the Twin Ports of Duluth, Minn. and Superior, Wis.
Duluth Cargo Connect, a working partnership of the Duluth Seaway Port Authority and Lake Superior Warehousing, will operate the rail-served facility at the port's Clure Public Marine Terminal.
"Opening CN's newest intermodal location here in Duluth instantly connects our region to containerized imports and exports via CN's rail network, avoiding the congestion in large urban intermodal facilities," said Vanta Coda, executive director of the Duluth Seaway Port Authority. "Our truck traffic has grown exponentially in recent years, and now we've partnered with CN to bring a whole new mode of efficient transportation services to the Twin Ports."
JJ Ruest, CN executive vice-president and chief marketing officer, said: "CN's innovative partnership with Duluth Cargo Connect opens up a new logistics supply chain and growth opportunities for the port's partners and shippers in the region. CN is pleased to bring its extensive contacts in international markets, freight-forwarding knowledge, and customs and marketing support to the Twin Ports."
Added to Duluth Cargo Connect's existing suite of services, CN's new intermodal service furthers the port terminal's 25-year record of success with stevedoring, cargo handling and warehousing operations.
"By working with CN to establish this Duluth intermodal ramp, Duluth Cargo Connect is helping customers move freight by its shortest and most economical path," said Jonathan Lamb, president of Lake Superior Warehousing. "CN is the only railroad in this market with direct service to East, West and Gulf Coast ports."
Congressman Rick Nolan, a member of the U.S. House Transportation Committee, said the new ramp is an important addition to the Duluth economy. "I'm pleased CN has partnered with Duluth Cargo Connect to make the Port of Duluth its newest Midwest destination," said Nolan, a member of the House Ports Caucus. "This partnership and efficient transportation networks mean more imports and exports coming through Duluth, and most importantly, economic stability and good-paying jobs for our region."
Loaded import containers from ports originating on all three coasts served by CN will arrive in Duluth via CN's rail network. The import containers can be used by Twin Ports exporters as new capacity to ship their goods to world markets. CN and Duluth Cargo Connect will begin serving import and export markets in March.