CN says Fairview traffic loss may be Vancouver’s gain

Imports through Prince Rupert's Fairview Terminal are down 4.5 per cent so far this year compared to last.

Imports through Prince Rupert’s Fairview Terminal are down 4.5 per cent so far this year compared to last, and CN senior management said it has a possible explanation for the drop in volume.

CN’s chief marketing officer and executive vice-president Jean-Jacques Ruest said some shipping lines have revised their pricing in 2013, which has taken container traffic from the North Coast.

“The two shipping lines that we deal with in Rupert have taken the pricing … to the people who are doing business with us in Vancouver, and some of that business has moved from one shipping line to another, partly explaining why our revenues in Vancouver are up 30 per cent,” he said during an Oct. 22 third quarter earnings call.

“It is what it is. Business moves from shipping line to shipping line. And in the case of Rupert, the two which are players in Rupert have actually maybe not done as well in the last six months as the two in Vancouver.”

Ruest also weighed in on the potential Canpotex terminal on Ridley Island, saying the possibility of such an announcement looks less likely.

“The world market for potash, I would say, has looked better in the past … the market for potash probably needs to sort itself out first,” he said.

The Prince Rupert Port Authority did not immediately respond to requests for comment from the Northern View