Backers are calling it their “cold train,” a four-day-a-week run of refrigerated intermodal cargoes from the Port of Quincy, Wash., to Chicago that starts moving this week.
The inland port’s intermodal terminal, which includes cold storage warehousing, is on a BNSF Railway route that goes from Seattle to Chicago. Middleman firm Rail Logistics books the intermodal loads on domestic 53-foot reefer containers, which are handled at the other end by the Chicago Cold Storage unit of LaGROU Distribution.
Columbia Colstor, which has several sites in the state of Washington, sees it connecting food producers in the Pacific Northwest with customers in the Midwest through “an intermodal pipeline between two of the largest cold storage and distribution operators.”
Don McGraw, CEO of Columbia Colstor, said the express train service “will provide Washington State produce and perishable shippers with a cost-effective and speedy new shipping option to the Midwest."
At the Port of Quincy, Commissioner Pat Connelly said the new service brings economic and environmental benefits to agricultural shippers compared with long-haul trucking, given the high price of fuel and pressure on shippers to curb carbon emissions in their freight systems.
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