• Intermodal to Saint John

  • Discussion of present-day CM&Q operations, as well as discussion of predecessors Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway (MMA) and Bangor & Aroostook Railroad (BAR).
Discussion of present-day CM&Q operations, as well as discussion of predecessors Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway (MMA) and Bangor & Aroostook Railroad (BAR).

Moderator: MEC407

  by CN9634
 
There would be a service announcement from a steamship line for an official call or service addition-- the MTL detours are over while the remaining boxes buried on the dock are finally moving out.
  by F74265A
 
CP and DPW have their work cut out for them to successfully run an efficient container port with regular service if they are just now finishing moving the boxes off the detoured ships.
  by CN9634
 
Yes and no-- they had an opportunity but to ramp up men, equipment, operations quickly to handle a surge like this is extremely taxing.... you don't just flip a switch like this in a usual situation, you have time to crew up and prepare. All things considering they did better than Halifax (read below)

https://www.hapag-lloyd.com/en/news-ins ... ax-ba.html

https://www.hapag-lloyd.com/en/news-ins ... pdate.html
  by F74265A
 
Thanks for that great info from hapag. CN certainly struggled too—arguably worse. Sounds like the primary shortage was well cars. CN certainly says they have excess track capacity between mtr and Halifax. Not clear to me how much track capacity cp has at this point with slower speeds and few sidings across ME and QC
  by johnpbarlow
 
Not being familiar with the term "cabotage" as used in the first Hapag-Lloyd service advisory, I Googled it. Here's the definition per Wikipedia:
Cabotage is the transport of goods or passengers between two places in the same country by a transport operator from another country.
I then Googled "ship cabotage Canada" and found this article from the Cato Institute that used this interesting and relevant example:
Earlier this month [July 2020] a Panamanian‐​flagged tanker, the Cabo de Hornos, left Burnaby, British Columbia bound for St. John [sic], New Brunswick where it will deliver its cargo of crude oil to a local refinery. Remarkably, this seemingly ho‐​hum event would be illegal if performed in the United States. In the Land of the Free, domestic waterborne transport is subject to the Jones Act, which bars not only foreign‐​registered ships from providing such services but even those built in other countries.

In contrast, Canada has sensibly opted for a less draconian approach to its cabotage policy. Under the country’s Coasting Trade Act, Canadian‐​flagged vessels are given preference for domestic transport. However, if no such vessel is available, foreign ships can be used under license (provided they meet safety and environmental requirements). It was the granting of such a license that enabled the transport of oil between two Canadian ports using a Panamanian‐​flagged ship, and for a Canadian refinery to meet its oil needs from a Canadian producer.
So not only did we learn a new word today, but we also learned that the Irving refinery at Saint John gets crude oil shipped from British Columbia presumably via the Panama Canal!
  by NHV 669
 
Given the lack of a pipeline, or a completed Lac Megantic bypass, they don't really have a better option. Mr. Norman made a post a few months ago on the matter:

viewtopic.php?p=1550949#p1550949
  by johnpbarlow
 
Thanks, NHV - I had not seen that posting. I was under the impression that crude to Saint John was coming from some off shore source like Venezuela or the Middle East. I recall reading at one point a few years ago Irving's crude oil was coming vial rail to the Port of Albany where it was transloaded to barge but Albany NIMBYs protested. I guess sourcing depends primarily on the price of crude oil, which has been volatile over the past few years.
  by CF14
 
“Under the country’s Coasting Trade Act, Canadian‐​flagged vessels are given preference for domestic transport. However, if no such vessel is available, foreign ships can be used under license (provided they meet safety and environmental requirements).“

Despite how the article makes it sound the US can also do this by way of a Jones act waiver. However recently for tankers they have only been used after natural disasters such as hurricanes.
  by CN9634
 
Correct on both accounts. Jones Act waivers have been granted recently for Hurricane relief.

The crude moves Alberta to Saint John via pipeline to BC and ship coast to coast using a foreign flagged vessel is unprecedented. I'm thinking Irving had a pretty strong lobby to get this one done, that or the dark cloud of Megantic still loomed overhead enough to keep this move off the rails.
  by CN9634
 
A very interesting quote from Keith Creel today on the Quarter update. Evidently CP is investing or has some stake in the Saint John port expansion (at least from a rail component) to boost the port expansion from the originally mentioned ~325,000TEU per year or so to 800,000TEU per year by end of 2022/23. That's his words not mine, wait for the transcript to drop later today for exact text.
  by F74265A
 
Port of Halifax has been running at about 550k TEU in recent years. 800k TEU at Saint John would make for a very busy port and railroad
  by CN9634
 
Also noteworthy Halifax has two terminals -- Ceres( Fairview) and Halterm(PSA). But if Halifax becomes the 'Prince Rupert' of the East then certainly CP is staking Saint John as the 'Vancouver' of the East.

Interesting times nonetheless. Also the Maersk switch to CP is huge and a big blow to CN as that had been a stronghold for them for years. I'm sure CN will still carry Maersk to a minor degree, but CP will certainly need to add some trains and better utilize their open capacity. Remember that in addition to Hapag ships trialing Saint John as an alternative port, Maersk also sent a ship the PATRAS, which on their Transatlantic service calls Montreal and Halifax.

Now with the hand shown a bit more for CP and Maersk, it makes more sense why Maersk trialed a vessel at SJ, so we'll see what happens in 2021 (March 1 is the new Maersk contract for CP).
  by F74265A
 
The cp press release on the maersk deal only mentions Montreal on the east coast. However, given cp’s claims of a huge future increase in business at Saint John, highly likely that a big chunk of this business moves to New Brunswick once the port at Saint John and the moosehead are ready for prime time after renovations and expansion. Montreal port says ships up to 6000 teu. What ship size is Saint John aiming for in order to play for the trans Atlantic and suez trade? To get to 800k teu, they are going to need to accept large to very large ships, which is where the industry appears to continue to be heading
  by Cosakita18
 
800k TEU seems like an incredibly ambitious plan Are they anticipating shipping lines diverting transatlantic
/ Suez services from US east coast ports (NYC, Norfolk) to SJ?
  by CN9634
 
John Brooks mentioned in September trying to syphon off NY/NJ traffic too off the East coast of the US that hits NS/CSX lines.

Saint John is going to be able to handle Neo-panamax ships upwards of 14000 TEUs when all is said and done. Unless you dredge the entire St. Lawrence Montreal will never grow beyond its current limitations, the only advantage they have is the significant inland access.