Friday, August 17, 2007

Shipping line looking forward to calling on Rupert

COSCO, the China Ocean Shipping Company is getting ready to call on the “major new gateway” of Prince Rupert, taking advantage of the reduction in transit time and less congestion that the Port of Prince Rupert will offer.

Having signed a contract with the Port and Maher Terminals to utilize 25 per cent of the port’s annual capacity they are considering their options to secure more capacity as the port grows, in fact they have first refusal on any new capacity based on the ports anticipated growth.

The shipping company outlined the advantages of the Port in an article in Logistics Management, a trade paper for the world of shipping. The article was posted on the magazines website today.

COSCO ready to launch service at Port of Prince Rupert
Jeff Berman, Senior Editor Logistics Management
August 17, 2007

SECAUCUS, N.J.—The China Ocean Shipping Company (COSCO) said earlier this month that beginning during the fourth quarter of this year it will begin calling Maher Terminals new container terminal at the Port of Prince Rupert in British Columbia, Canada.

The company said it is the first ocean carrier to officially sign up with the Port of Prince Rupert, and it will provide shippers with “a major new gateway to and from the West Coast of North America and Asia,” as well as alleviate the congestion experienced by virtually all United States West Coast ports.

A COSCO spokesman told Logistics Management this initiative is a cooperative effort between Maher Terminals, the Port of Prince Rupert, and the Canadian National Railway Company (CN).
“[COSCO] have secured 25 percent of the port’s annual capacity, and have first refusal on new capacity as the port grows,” said the spokesman.” He added that importing and exporting out of the port is not new to COSCO, as they have been calling the break-bulk terminals there for several years.

Railroad collaboration:Under the terms of COSCO’s partnership with CN, the carriers will provide rail service from Prince Rupert to several North American-based markets, including Chicago, Memphis, Nashville, Detroit, Toronto, and Montreal, according to the spokesman. A COSCO statement added that this railroad partnership was created to give shippers access to CN’s on-dock, high-capacity, double-stack rail network.

According to an article in the Memphis-based Commercial Appeal published in March, CN has invested approximately $140 million in port facilities in Prince Rupert, which will provide shippers with a shorter route across the Pacific Ocean and less congestion when moving freight into various North America markets. The article added that CN expects to be annually transferring 500,000 TEUs from ships docked at Prince Rupert.

Transit time reduction:COSCO added that the port provides exporters and importers with the shortest route between Asia and North America and North America’s deepest port, with a 1,295-foot berth and a 55-foot draft at mean low water (MLW).

The spokesman pointed out that this “shortest route” is in regards to the shortest time to market, as opposed to sea miles/ocean transit times.“

Shortest time to market is the true measure for shippers,” said the spokesman. “ At issue is how the lack of congestion at Prince Rupert speeds getting containers in and out of the port. The congestion in Southern California is well documented, after that it’s just a question of doing the math. Time saved for delivery to many Mid West destinations can be 2-3 days faster than when containers are delayed by the congestion in Southern California.”

Along with avoiding the congestion of West Coast ports, other benefits for shippers exporting and importing out of the port, said the spokesman, include new, higher capacity equipment, and quicker clearances. He also noted that the Port of Prince Rupert is strictly intermodal, eliminating any gate congestion.

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