Neptune operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with three shifts daily. Our operations primarily involve unloading trains and loading ships, which we’ve been doing safely and responsibly since 1968.
The commodities we handle arrive at our terminal via CN Rail, with trains travelling to and from our terminal on the North Shore across the Second Narrows rail bridge.
Once on our site, trains are unloaded either directly to waiting vessels, or to storage. Potash is stored in one of two large covered sheds, as it is water soluble and can’t be exposed to precipitation. Coal is stored in an open stockpile and sprayed with water to coat the pile and suppress dust. For more information on how we manage dust, air and water quality, visit our environmental page.
Neptune has three berths at which we can load ships: berth 1 is used exclusively for steelmaking coal loading, and berths 2 and 3 are used for potash.
How do you move trains around the terminal?
We use an electronic indexer to move coal trains through the dumpers where they are unloaded. Potash trains are pulled around the site using special ultra-low emission N-Viro Locomotives, which reduce fuel use and emissions.
How do you manage rail noise?
Because of our proximity to the bridge, trains come straight to our site and have minimal impact on the community. All trains are unit trains, meaning they carry a single commodity. Because of this and Neptune’s continuous loop rail track design, we can alleviate the need for shunting and the noise associated with separating and re-connecting the railcars. We also lubricate our tracks to minimize any squealing from train movements.
How many trains enter the site daily?
Neptune receives an average of 2 trains per day. Since rail capacity is a vital part of the Canadian supply chain, we work hard to unload these trains quickly so they can return to the mines. On average, it takes 10.5 hours to unload a potash train and 7.6 hours to unload a steelmaking coal train on our site.
How many ships a year are loaded at Neptune?
On average, we load 330 ships per year.
How big are those ships?
Neptune sees ships of various sizes including Handymax, Panamax and Cape-size vessels.
How long does it take to load a ship?
On average, it takes Neptune 2 days to load a vessel with potash, and 3 days to load a vessel with steelmaking coal.