CN and China strike deal for B.C. lumber export

August 12, 2021

By: The Working Forest Staff

VANCOUVER, PRNewswire – CN and China’s CNBM Forest Products Trading Ltd., have announced they have reached an agreement to use CN’s new lumber transload facility in Vancouver to increase the supply chain capacity for Canadian lumber exports.

CN is scheduled to start operation of the lumber container export facility at its Thornton Yard in Surrey, B.C., in the fall of 2011. It will have an initial footprint of eight acres and throughput capacity of approximately 10,000 containers per year, with room to grow up to 20 acres. The facility, supplied with rail cars of lumber originating in communities in the British Columbia (B.C.) Interior, will make it easier to transport lumber to export markets in China.

Jean-Jacques Ruest, executive vice-president, and chief marketing officer of CN, said: “Lumber exports to China now account for close to 25 percent of the western Canadian total and are expected to continue to increase at a fast pace in the years to come. CN aims to foster a world-class export supply chain for Canadian lumber in cooperation with CNBM Forest Products Trading, lumber producers in B.C., and ocean shipping lines serving Port Metro Vancouver.”

Ken Kao, general manager of CNBM Forest Products Trading – Shanghai, said: “It is imperative that we align expected demand with appropriate facilities and ocean capacity to accommodate the growth we see coming over the next few years. We are pleased to be able to conclude an agreement with CN on capacity at the new Thornton transload facility.

“For CNBM Forest Products Trading – the largest lumber buyer in China – CN continues to be a very important component of our global supply chain. With its access to both the ports of Vancouver and Prince Rupert and its commitment to support transload infrastructure, we can continue to meet our strategic growth objectives for the China market.”

CN also announced today that it plans to increase lumber transload capacity at its Prince George Distribution Centre to more than 30,000 containers annually. The facility was built in 2007 to support Port of Prince Rupert export opportunities.

Prince George, located 500 miles east of Prince Rupert, is in close proximity to British Columbia’s large fibre reserves and other natural resources.

Ruest said: “We are confident that, together, CN and its transload facilities, CNBM Forest Products Trading, lumber mills and ports in B.C. and ocean shipping lines can help spur increased economic activity and job creation in the province through a highly-efficient supply chain that will help meet increasing demand for lumber in China.”

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