CN expands fleet with purchase of ‘green’ containers, chassis

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TORONTO, Ont. — CN Rail has purchased an additional 200 EcoTherm containers, bringing its fleet to nearly 500 units – the largest in North America. The containers are designed to protect products such as food, beverages, paints and pharmaceuticals against low temperatures.

The super-insulated 40-ft EcoTherm container is designed to be an alternative to the 53-ft heated container, with the ability to hold the same volume of product without the need for the blocking and bracing required in a larger container.

Officials say the EcoTherm has more insulation than a conventional diesel engine-powered “heater” container, enabling it to hold its interior temperature more effectively. The company also says EcoTherm is able to retain the proper temperature for sensitive goods throughout a rail trip as long as 10 days with no need for an engine to burn fuel en route.

CN also announced the purchase of 25 EcoRide chassis. They weigh 15% less than conventional chassis and are equipped with aerodynamic features such as side skirts and low-rolling resistance tires. Officials say containers delivered on EcoRide chassis are able to consume 8-11% less fuel than containers delivered on traditional chassis.

“EcoTherm and EcoRide are innovative technological advances that help CN reduce the energy intensity of its customers’ supply chains and position us to grow our business,” said Jean-Jacques Ruest, CN’s executive vice-president and chief marketing officer.

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