CN and Montreal Gateway Terminals Partnership improve key customer service metrics for container traffic

Sep 19, 2011, 11:00 ET from CN

MONTREAL, Sept. 19, 2011 /PRNewswire/ - CN (TSX: CNR) (NYSE: CNI) and Montreal Gateway Terminals Partnership (MGT), the operator of two container terminals at the Port of Montreal, said today closer collaboration and innovation are driving important supply chain efficiencies in their operations that are improving customer service.

Jean-Jacques Ruest, CN executive vice-president and chief marketing officer, said: "Since we first committed ourselves to a stronger working relationship with key stakeholders at the Port of Montreal a year ago in an effort to boost efficiencies and service, we, along with MGT, have delivered continuous improvement in our performance. The goal is to better serve our mutual customers and to increase the competitiveness of the port."

Two key metrics underscore advances in performance. Since August 2010, ocean terminal dwell -- the average time it takes for a container to be placed on a rail car after being discharged from a vessel at MGT's CAST terminal - has declined by almost 40 per cent. Another key metric - the ratio of CN rail cars available at CAST compared with the number of discharged containers awaiting rail shipment - has improved by more than 200 per cent since August 2010.

Ruest said: "The performance gains are attributable to a stronger relationship with MGT and a constant focus on detail. CN's contributions to this success include timelier car supply, improved car blocking and increased customer communication."

Kevin Doherty, chief executive officer of MGT, said: "Tight cooperation with CN following the signing of our level of service agreement has allowed the parties to take a proactive approach to increase efficiency and productivity. CN is delivering cars in a timelier manner, allowing us to better manage our terminal throughput.

"Together we are achieving superior reliability, consistency and transit times due to unmatched dwell times, helping Montreal's competitiveness as a superior route for containerized goods reaching the interior of the continent. We are moving cars out of the terminal faster and producing a more fluid operation. The result is a clockwork operation in which 95 per cent of all cargo has been loaded onto a rail car and is on its way to inland destinations within 72 hours."

Ruest said: "Early in this initiative CN appointed a ports manager responsible for continually monitoring and controlling car supply to the Port of Montreal's container terminals in cooperation with key stakeholders. We also took steps to significantly beef up our customer support team. These measures have, in turn, helped us to continue delivering solid, consistent rail transit times to key markets in Toronto, Chicago, Detroit, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver."

David Cardin, president of Maersk Line Canada, a subsidiary of Maersk Line, the global containerized division of the A.P. Moller - Maersk Group, said: "Maersk Line is committed to providing our customers with unmatched reliability through 95 per cent on-time delivery. We encourage and support the efforts taken by CN and the Montreal Gateway Terminals to improve the performance of the gateway. The improvement over the past year has benefited our customers by providing increased reliability and a better overall customer experience."

CN, the Montreal Port Authority (MPA) and the two companies that operate the port's three principal container terminals announced in February 2011 two level-of-service agreements intended to drive a strong focus on supply chain efficiencies.

The two agreements followed a framework agreement that CN and the MPA reached in September 2010. Under that agreement, CN and the port decided to develop a best-practices vision for the gateway's supply chain, improve productivity, and leverage these gains to increase their share of global container traffic.

About Montreal Gateway Terminals Partnership Strategically situated at the gateway to the vast and vibrant North American markets, Montreal Gateway Terminals Partnership's two container terminals are in operation year-around. Gateway Terminals are efficiently serviced by both CN and Canadian Pacific Railway, which have direct links to major American rail carriers. This strategic location is also connected to the network of highways that lead directly to markets in Quebec, Ontario, Western Canada as well as the United States. The direct access to train or truck transportation services provides shippers with the advantage of reliable, cost-competitive inland transportation to major North American markets. For more information about the Montreal Gateway Terminals Partnership, visit MGT's website at

About CN CN - Canadian National Railway Company and its operating railway subsidiaries - spans Canada and mid-America, from the Atlantic and Pacific oceans to the Gulf of Mexico, serving the ports of Vancouver, Prince Rupert, B.C., Montreal, Halifax, New Orleans, and Mobile, Ala., and the key metropolitan areas of Toronto, Buffalo, Chicago, Detroit, Duluth, Minn./Superior, Wis., Green Bay, Wis., Minneapolis/St. Paul, Memphis, St. Louis, and Jackson, Miss., with connections to all points in North America. For more information on CN, visit the company's website at

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