CN expands Gulf of Mexico gateway focus with Port of New Orleans supply chain collaboration agreement

CHICAGO, June 17, 2015 /CNW/ - CN (TSX: CNR) (NYSE: CNI) today signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Port of New Orleans that will see the parties develop greater supply chain efficiencies aimed at drawing more container traffic over the port to North American markets.

JJ Ruest, CN executive vice-president and chief marketing officer, said: "We and our Port of New Orleans gateway partners have a mutual interest in ensuring a more competitive rail movement of containerized goods through the gateway and into the Midwest and mid-continent."

Gary LaGrange, president and chief executive officer of the Port of New Orleans, said: "We are pleased to build upon our long-standing relationship with CN. This MOU reflects a genuine interest in mutually developing better service that will help us capture greater market share and optimize throughput, with the ultimate goal of providing the best service possible to our customers."

The Port of New Orleans has an intermodal rail terminal adjacent to its Napoleon Avenue Container Terminal providing on-dock access for all rail shipments. The new Mississippi River Intermodal Terminal is now under construction. The US$25-million project, when completed in the first quarter of 2016, will result in a modern, efficient intermodal container transfer terminal located within the container yard, offering on-dock access and improving CN's link to the terminal and helping grow its container volumes.

The New Orleans Public Belt Railroad (NOPBR), a switching railroad with the primary mission of serving the Port of New Orleans and local industries, also signed the CN-Port of New Orleans MOU.

Jeff Davis, general manager and chief executive officer of the NOPBR, said: "The New Orleans Public Belt is excited about the efficiency gains that the new intermodal yard will provide. New Orleans is a natural intermodal gateway and we look forward to growing business with CN."

CN's Port of New Orleans MOU follows the recent signing of a similar agreement with the Alabama State Port Authority, which owns the public terminals at the Port of Mobile, and reflects the railway's continued focus on developing highly efficient Gulf of Mexico gateways for international trade.

Ruest concluded: "The expanded Panama Canal is expected to offer greater freight traffic opportunities to the ports of New Orleans and Mobile. Our plan to implement level-of-service agreements at these two ports and raise their involvement in rail transportation should help them take advantage of rising container trade with Asia and South America."

Forward-Looking Statements 

Certain information included in this news release constitutes "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and under Canadian securities laws. CN cautions that, by their nature, these forward-looking statements involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions.  The Company cautions that its assumptions may not materialize and that current economic conditions render such assumptions, although reasonable at the time they were made, subject to greater uncertainty. Such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results or performance of the Company or the rail industry to be materially different from the outlook or any future results or performance implied by such statements. Important factors that could affect the above forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, the effects of general economic and business conditions, industry competition, inflation, currency and interest rate fluctuations, changes in fuel prices, legislative and/or regulatory developments, compliance with environmental laws and regulations, actions by regulators, various events which could disrupt operations, including natural events such as severe weather, droughts, floods and earthquakes, labor negotiations and disruptions, environmental claims, uncertainties of investigations, proceedings or other types of claims and litigation, risks and liabilities arising from derailments, and other risks and assumptions detailed from time to time in reports filed by CN with securities regulators in Canada and the United States. Reference should be made to "Management's Discussion and Analysis" in CN's annual and interim reports, Annual Information Form and Form 40-F filed with Canadian and U.S. securities regulators, available on CN's website, for a summary of major risks.

CN assumes no obligation to update or revise forward-looking statements to reflect future events, changes in circumstances, or changes in beliefs, unless required by applicable Canadian securities laws. In the event CN does update any forward-looking statement, no inference should be made that CN will make additional updates with respect to that statement, related matters, or any other forward-looking statement.

CN is a true backbone of the economy, transporting more than C$250 billion worth of goods annually for a wide range of business sectors, ranging from resource products to manufactured products to consumer goods, across a rail network spanning Canada and mid-America. CN – Canadian National Railway Company, along with its operating railway subsidiaries -- serves the cities and ports of Vancouver, Prince Rupert, B.C., Montreal, Halifax, New Orleans, and Mobile, Ala., and the metropolitan areas of Toronto, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Calgary, Chicago, Memphis, Detroit, Duluth, Minn./Superior, Wis., and Jackson, Miss., with connections to all points in North America. For more information on CN, visit the company's website at www.cn.ca.

SOURCE CN

For further information: Contacts: Media: Mark Hallman, Director, Communications & Public Affairs, (905) 669-3384; Investment Community: Janet Drysdale, Vice-President, Investor Relations, (514) 399-0052

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