Canadian Pacific Railway is partnering with truck and logistics provider Contrans by using collapsible containers to convert some flatbed-type shipments to double-stack rail intermodal service.
CP and Contrans, a large Canadian trucking firm, will deploy 53-foot, open-framed containers from Raildecks Intermodal that can easily load and secure piping and other industrial products that do not usually ride in containers.
CP said it has been testing the multi-modal units over the summer at its Toronto Intermodal Facility. The units were tested earlier at the Association of American Railroads’ center in Pueblo, Colo., and by other railroads and trucking operators, the companies said.
The Raildecks flat rack container “extends the efficiencies of intermodal rail to industrial products shippers," said John McBoyle, vice president of intermodal at Canadian Pacific.
In effect, it means loads that now go over the road can be strapped into these framed, open-top units that fit in a railroad’s intermodal well cars. They can be double-stacked when loaded for the long-distance haul, and collapsed on the return so that four fit into a single slot.
Contrans will provide the local and regional truck dray, moving the loads and empties to and from intermodal yards. Stan G. Dunford, Contrans' chairman and CEO, said the new service “will revolutionize the long-haul flatbed market” and create substantial savings for industrial shippers.
At Raildecks, CEO Rick Jocson said "by converting a traditional over-the-road commodity to rail,” its frame containers “are reducing greenhouse gas emissions, freeing up major roads and highways, and reducing costs for shippers."