CP unveils new intermodal improvements from Vancouver to Toronto or Chicago

The Calgary-based carrier said this week that it has introduced new intermodal services, which offer faster transit times that connect Vancouver to Toronto or Chicago.

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Class I railroad carload Canadian Pacific is taking its intermodal services to the next level.

The Calgary-based carrier said this week that it has introduced new intermodal services, which offer faster transit times that connect Vancouver to Toronto or Chicago.

According to company officials, CP’s new intermodal schedules eliminate one day from the 2,600-mile Toronto to Vancouver transcontinental trains and two days from the 2,200 mile Vancouver to Chicago train service.

CP spokesman Ed Greenberg told LM that these one- and two-day reductions bring CP’s transit times between Vancouver and Chicago or Toronto to four days.

“The launch of this new service is part of CP’s ongoing drive for service enhancement, reliability, and efficiency,” explained Greenberg. “Intermodal is one of the fastest growing segments of our lines of business.  We are seeing an increase in module conversion where more volumes are moving into containerize business.  Our transcontinental service serves two markets—international and domestic markets—and we identified the need for speed, consistency, managing cost and creating capacity so our railway can create a more competitive service, grow our market share and capitalize on market opportunities. The evolution of this new transcontinental service has been developing for the last several quarters as we delivered a more consistent and reliable service to the market.” 

In terms of the biggest benefit of this news for shippers, Greenberg explained that CP’s on-time service commitment means consistent overall transit times, adding that shippers looking for fast and reliable shipping solutions can take advantage of CP’s new schedules to reach existing and emerging North American and international markets.

“With lower dwell times in our terminals, more efficient transit times, and optimized asset utilization, we can provide this improved service,” said Canadian Pacific Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Jane O’Hagan in a statement. “As part of the global supply chain we want to help our customers be more competitive in the markets they serve.”

These changes are part of CP’s redesign of its transcontinental package as well as benefits from previous capital investments it has made. For example, intermodal represented $1.3 billion—or 26 percent—of CP’s overall 2011 revenues, said Greenberg.

The evolution of this new premium transcontinental service has been developing for the last several quarters as CP delivered a more consistent and reliable service to the market, he said.

“We have been testing the new service for several weeks and we are now at a point we are able to formally take it to our customers,” said Greenberg. “This new transcontinental service is part of the evolution at CP as more enhancements are being pilot tested across the network creating further service improvements. Making CP’s performance more competitive creates new growth opportunities for the railway and for our customers.”


About the Author

Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. Contact Jeff Berman

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Article Topics

Canadian Pacific · Intermodal · All Topics
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Not Your Grandfather's Intermodal
Transportation of freight in containers was first recorded around 1780 to move coal along England’s Bridgewater Canal. However, "modern" intermodal rail service by a major U.S. railroad only dates back to 1936. Malcom McLean’s Sea-Land Service significantly advanced intermodalism, showing how freight could be loaded into a “container” and moved by two or more modes economically and conveniently. As with all new technologies, there were problems that slowed the growth, which influenced many potential customers to shy away from moving intermodal.
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