Swift Transportation, the largest U.S. truckload carrier, is expanding its container business with a cross-border intermodal service linking the U.S. and Mexico.
The container-on-flatcar service will complement Swift’s existing trailer-on-flatcar service across the Mexican border, the Phoenix-based trucking company said. Shippers shifted freight from all-truck modes to intermodal at the fastest pace in years during the second quarter, according to a survey by Wolfe Trahan research group.
Swift launched its COFC service through a partnership with Kansas City Southern Railroad and its Mexican subsidiary, Kansas City Southern de Mexico Railroad.
"The expansion of the COFC product to and from Mexico completes our COFC geographic footprint,” said Richard Stocking, president of Swift Transportation.
Swift has a fleet of 5,700 intermodal containers, including 4,300 53-foot containers. The company has nearly 17,000 tractors and more than 49,000 trailers. The carrier also owns a Mexican trucking company, TransMex.
Although intermodal makes up a small portion of the $2.9 billion company’s total business, the Phoenix-based carrier has expanded its container fleet 35 percent from a year ago.
The truckload giant launched its intermodal service in 2005, and has agreements with all the major U.S. railroads, the company said in its 2010 annual report.