A worker takes chains off a load of lumber at the new lumber transload facility on Ridley Island.

New lumber transload facility opens on Ridley Island

The Port of Prince Rupert has made it more attractive for clients farther away to ship lumber through Prince Rupert versus Vancouver.

The Port of Prince Rupert has made it more attractive for clients farther away to ship lumber through Prince Rupert versus Vancouver.

A brand new lumber transload facility, CT Terminals, is up and running on Ridley Island, brought to the area by a limited partnership consisting of Tidal Coast Terminals and Coast Tsimshian Enterprises.

The investment complements Tidal Coast Terminals’ main operational site at Prince Rupert’s Industrial Park at Butze Bay (a former saw mill location) which sorts logs, handles containers, reloads forest products and bagged cargo, and barges breakbulk cargo to vessels.

The lumber transload facility is a key utilization of the Port of Prince Rupert’s Road, Rail and Utility Corridor said Michael Gurney, manager of corporate communications at the Port of Prince Rupert last week, and communications coordinator Kris Schumacher explained the impact that the transload facility is already having.

“Prior to this lumber transfer facility on Ridley Island, all lumber exports through the Port of Prince Rupert came in two ways: in containers that were stuffed at CN’s intermodal facility in Prince George [and secondly,] trucked from mills in places like Burns Lake, Houston and Smithers,” Schumacher explained last week.

At the Prince George facility, logs are trucked in from nearby areas such as Quesnel, stuffed into containers and placed on trains bound for Prince Rupert all ready to be exported. As well lumber used to be trucked into a Quickload facility from nearby northwestern locations like Burns Lake, Houston and Smithers. Then it was unloaded, placed in containers and trucked to Fairview Container Terminal, said Schumacher.

“This new facility allows lumber exporters to access the Port of Prince Rupert by rail, without necessitating that the lumber be stuffed into a container prior to arriving. This expands our reach to industry further inland and will hopefully contribute to increasing exports through the Fairview Container Terminal going forward,” he said.

The lumber is brought into the facility by rail, and is mainly exported out to countries across the Pacific, but may stay in Prince Rupert for projects here. Right now, only lumber is handled at CT Terminals, but it has the capacity to handle all sorts of cargo, railed in from inward train cars. The terminal can also load cargo on outbound trains.

The terminal has an elevated loading ramp to meet the rail grade in offloading the lumber and multiple stations for it to be placed in containers on-site. The trucks then leave the area through an exit further ahead of the entrance to maintain a healthy flow of traffic.

CN Rail was abuzz on social media about the new facility, raving about its “high capacity, low dwell” capabilities on Twitter and Tidal Coast Terminals itself uploaded a brief video to YouTube showcasing the Ridley corridor facility from an up-close and aerial view. Look for that video online titled “CT Terminals” by YouTube user Tidal Transport.