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Update on peak-season rail volumes for APM Terminals Port Elizabeth

Import cargo flows continue strong into APM Terminals Elizabeth with a fair share of the volume destined to the hinterland as part of our first call, gateway port role. 

Rail dwell time is always an important element in supply chain velocity and here’s insight to help you understand how we are managing through peak season volumes with our rail product.

We are seeing higher ocean cargo volumes than the same time last year. This year’s peak season has also been shaped by the Port of Montreal labour strike in August which increased import (diverted) volumes by 10-15% through Elizabeth.

On the rail product side, we are seeing the same number of trains as last year however. This places greater emphasis on our rail operations management to find efficiencies to keep terminal fluidity and avoid rail dwell on the terminal. 

Here’s steps we are taking to manage through this rail network situation: 

Increased staff - We hired more labor (12 more personnel) in our local MMR rail terminal to help with planning and loading trains and to work weekends and night shifts. 

Arranged container stacks by top four inland destinations – while more costly to APM Terminals, this effort generates faster railcar loading and less handling at MMR so a net gain for customers.

Planning with CSX – CSX is delivering 90,000’ of railcar capacity each week into our MMR rail facility. They have not been able to add more trains or railcars due to capacity constraints across their network due to peak season volumes. 

Offering Transload option with Performance Team NJ facility – allows you to pivot faster to order changes, gives you a local option that offers faster speed and lower cubic meter costs. 

Partnership with Port Authority of New York/New Jersey – for their assistance on ensuring our facility gets the proper railcar support in the port complex. 

The outlook - We see the current 3-5 day rail dwell lasting another 1-2 weeks due to heavy volumes. 

Your business is important to us – and on behalf of the entire APM Terminals team - thank you for your support during this peak season. Should you have any questions or feedback please contact us – we value your feedback.

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