Last month, Canadian National Railway announced that it was bidding, alongside an unnamed partner, to buy and expand the Halterm Container Terminal in the Port of Halifax, with the aim of turning it into “the Prince Rupert of the East,” a nod to the company’s booming West Coast terminal business.
“What we’re trying to do here is catch some of these big vessels going into New York,” CN chief executive J.J. Ruest told the Financial Post at the time.
The Port of Halifax, currently Canada’s fourth largest by container traffic, is ideally positioned to do just that.
Halifax lies just off the great circle route from New York to Europe — “four hours in, four hours out” as retired Halifax Port Authority engineer Don Carter puts it — and is 635 nautical miles closer to the key shipping hub of Rotterdam than is its competitor. It is also in deep enough water to accommodate the world’s largest container ships.
But despite the CN bid, Halifax’s chances of becoming a bigger player in North America’s rapidly changing East Coast container business are not at all assured these days.
Read more on Financial Post.