BNSF Railway Co. announced that it will open a Shanghai office in the second quarter of 2006.
The company made the announcement at its first International Supply Chain Summit in Shanghai.
"As the United States' trade with Asia continues to grow, it becomes more and more important for BNSF to collaborate with our customers in countries such as China to ensure the fluidity of U.S.-Asia trade," said Steve Branscum, group vice president, BNSF Consumer Products. "The BNSF International Supply Chain Summit and the new China office will allow us to expand our presence in Asia, strengthen existing partnerships with key stakeholders in international trade and explore growth opportunities in other Asian countries."
The railroad said its international intermodal business, most of which originates in China, has grown at a compounded annual rate of more than 13 percent since 2000.
"China is a key driver in BNSF's international intermodal business and we continue to expand our network and services to accommodate their growth," said Branscum.
The China office will be the first for a U.S. railroad. Canadian Pacific Railway and Canadian National opened a joint office there in 2005.
BNSF said its predecessor railroads have been moving imports from China through ocean carrier Cosco and moving export grain to China since the early Eighties. In 2004 BNSF and the China Ministry of Railways signed a five-year cooperation agreement to exchange best practices in railway management, operations, logistics and technology, and other areas. The company said it continues to expand relationships with other China ministries.