OVERLAND PARK, Kan. and QUINCY, Wash., April 4, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The Pacific Northwest-Chicagoland Express Cold Train Intermodal Service (http://www.rrlx.com/www.icoldtrain.com/iColdTrain/Home.html) is celebrating a successful one-year anniversary.
The Cold Train Intermodal service was launched in April of 2010 (http://refrigeratedtrans.com/carriers-shippers/cold_train_intermodal_service_begins_0408/) in partnership with the Port of Quincy Intermodal Terminal (http://www.portofquincyintermodal.com).
In December 2010, Cold Train was spun off from Rail Logistics (of Overland Park, KS). According to Chris Mnichowski, the Owner and President of CTI Freight Systems, the parent company of Cold Train Intermodal (dba "Cold Train"), "We needed to direct our time, talents and resources to further build the Cold Train network and on acquiring additional assets to service growing customer demand."
Since the "Cold Train" refrigerated intermodal container rail and distribution service (between Quincy, WA and Chicago, IL) started a year ago, it has rapidly grown in popularity with produce shippers in the Pacific Northwest as well as shippers in the Midwest. Five days a week, the Cold Train service departs the Port of Quincy in central Washington loaded with fresh or frozen produce destined for the Midwest. The produce, grown and packed by local growers/packers in Washington State, is loaded into the Cold Train's modern, state-of-the-art 53-foot refrigerated containers and brought to the Port of Quincy Intermodal Terminal. At the terminal, the containers are double-stacked onto an expedited nonstop train to Chicago. On arrival in Chicago, each container is carefully placed on a truck chassis for transport to its final destination.
The Cold Train's trip takes less than four days, much faster than typical rail refrigerated boxcar service, which requires more handling of the product and where delivery can take up to two weeks. The speed of Cold Train's intermodal service places it on par with trucks. Additionally, the Cold Train reduces carbon footprint by as much as 50 percent (when compared to standard trucks), as it takes less diesel fuel to power a train. Furthermore, advanced technology allows the reefer units on the Cold Train to be tracked and remotely controlled.
However, the Cold Train is not only about delivering cargo from Quincy to the Midwest. Cold Train containers are also loaded in Chicago with products from the Midwest for the return trip to Quincy. Once the product arrives in Quincy, the containers are loaded onto trucks for delivery locally in the greater central Washington area.
According to Steve Lawson, Vice President of Intermodal for Cold Train, eastbound shipments of produce (apples, potatoes, etc.) on the Cold Train (from Washington State to the greater Chicago area) have doubled since the beginning of the year and continue to climb. Additionally, westbound shipments of cargo on the Cold Train from Chicago to Washington State have increased by several hundred percent from a year ago.
The growth trends are occurring even more rapidly in 2011. "In fact, for the past couple of months, the Cold Train has been completely full of cargo going both east and west ... we fully believe this trend will continue which is why we are adding capacity," Lawson added.
"We expect 300% growth this year over the operation in 2010," stated Mnichowski. More importantly, Mnichowski plans to start service (from Quincy and Chicago) into the Southeast U.S. market in 2011. "As the Cold Train service continues to grow, we plan on providing service to areas such as Atlanta and Florida, and then pivoting to Northeast markets in the future and eventually to the California market," added Mnichowski.
The Port of Quincy (http://www.portofquincy.org), where the Cold Train's operation in the Pacific Northwest is headquartered, is seeing other positive economic impacts as a result of Cold Train's continued growth. Stated Pat Connelly, Port of Quincy Commissioner, "The Cold Train's success of shipping both inbound and outbound cargo has effectively turned the Port of Quincy Intermodal Terminal into a key distribution hub for central Washington."
Additionally, as the Cold Train nears its one-year anniversary, shippers in Washington State and receivers in the Midwest are continuing to give very high marks to the service.
"The Cold Train continues to provide us a transportation alternative that is economical and environmentally friendly, with a carbon footprint that's 50% less than an over-the-road truck," stated Carl Swartz, Perishables Transportation, The Kroger Co.
Stated Scott Marboe, Director of Marketing of Oneonta Starr Ranch Growers in Wenatchee, Washington, "With fuel prices continuing to increase, the Cold Train rail service from Central Washington to Illinois continues to give our company a cost-effective and dependable option to transport our products to the Midwest."
For more information about the Cold Train, please contact Steve Lawson, Vice President of Intermodal for Cold Train, at 913-491-0050 or [email protected]. For photos of the Cold Train, please email [email protected].
SOURCE Cold Train Intermodal