The deal gives PSA its second facility in Canada after its purchase of Ashcroft Terminal, a “dry port” transloading terminal located about 125 miles inland from the port of Vancouver, BC. With the Halifax acquisition, PSA gets access to the closest North American port to Europe and the only seaport in Eastern Canada that can handle super-post-panamax vessels. With a maximum depth alongside of 52 feet and unlimited air draft, Halterm offers a competitive way to serve Canada and New England with bigger ships.
According to Canadian media, PSA beat several competing bids for Halterm, including a bid led by Canadian National Railway (CN). CN had made its interest in Halterm clear as early as December 2018: the rail line has seen excellent performance from its intermodal service from Prince Rupert, BC to the U.S. Midwest, and it sought to create a similar arrangement for cargoes arriving in Halifax. “As part of our action-oriented approach to grow trade volume in Eastern Network, CN is exploring the opportunity, with a partner, of getting involved in the acquisition of Halifax’s Halterm container terminal,” the company told JOC last year.
Penn Terminals is a smaller facility focused on containerized reefer and break-bulk cargoes. The 80-acre site has 37 feet of depth alongside, heavy lift capacity for up to 220 tons, and 300,000 square feet of dry warehouse space.