CN Expanding Cold Supply Chain Reefer Capacity - Global Trade Magazine
  June 15th, 2015 | Written by

CN Expanding Cold Supply Chain Reefer Capacity

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  • Canadian National Rail to expand its cold #supplychain #reefer capacity
  • Canadian National is acquiring 200 additional #temperature-controlled #containers to accommodate anticipated growth
  • Canadian National was the first to introduce highway-to-rail conversion of reefer service in trans-border markets

The Canadian National (CN) is investing $16 million to enhance its refrigerated cargo handling capacity in order to help producers and distributors of chilled or frozen foods grow their businesses in North America and in overseas markets.

To accommodate anticipated growth, the rail carrier is acquiring 200 additional domestic, 53-foot temperature-controlled containers, which will add to the current fleet of containers circulating inside North America.

The railroad is also acquiring 32 electrical generators to move 40-foot international reefers to and from CN-served ports on CN intermodal trains. The power packs provide economies of scale by connecting up to 17 international marine reefers at a time.

The CN “was the first railway to introduce highway-to-rail conversion of reefer service in trans-border markets,” says EVP and Chief Marketing Officer, J.J. Ruest. “Our high-quality cold supply chain service has been embraced by the marketplace.  We are now adding capacity to grow and to help Canada’s food processing industry gain and maintain access to new domestic and international markets.”



The CN operates on about 20,400 route miles of track in eight Canadian provinces and collaborates with other rail carriers to offer cold supply chain rail services between Canada, the U.S., Mexico, and overseas markets.

Following its 1998 acquisition of the Illinois Central (IC) and several other smaller U.S. railways, the railroad expanded its reach into the U.S. Midwest along the Mississippi River Valley from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico.

The railroad is the northernmost rail line anywhere within the North American rail network, offering service as far north as Anchorage, Alaska. It also maintains rail yards in Indiana, Tennessee, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin and Louisiana, as well as intermodal terminals in Maine, Illinois, Michigan, Mississippi, Tennessee, Louisiana and Alabama.