Transportation & Ports

An efficient and inter-connected network of rail and port infrastructure is critical to get Canadian coal to market.


Coal is one of Canada’s top bulk commodities transported by rail and handled by our ports. Each year, between 30 and 40 Mt are transported by Canadian National (CN) and Canadian Pacific (CP) rail operators and handled by west-coast ports


Canada’s railroads move over 30 million tonnes of coal annually.


In 2011, both CN and CP invested almost $3 billion on infrastructure and fleet upgrades. A significant amount of that investment supports coal shipments.


Both CN and CP are making major efforts to support the coal industry through increased cooperation and track sharing.


Want to learn more about rail and coal?

Ports and Terminals

About 80% of Canada’s coal exports are shipped through British Columbia mainly because the vast amount (90%) of Canada’s coal deposits are located in western provinces. In 2018 Canadian ports helped facilitate the export of approximately 34 million tonnes of coal.

The following ports/terminals handle international and domestic shipments of coal

Port of Vancouver

(British Columbia)

Westshore Terminals near Vancouver

(British Columbia)

Neptune Terminals near Vancouver

(British Columbia)

Port of Prince Rupert (Ridley Terminals Inc)

(British Columbia)

Port of Thunder Bay (Thunder Bay Terminals)


International Coal Pier at Sydney

(Nova Scotia) currently only imports coal.