UP expands intermodal network

Omaha, NE-based railroad conglomerate Union Pacific is investing $90 million to build a new 300-acre intermodal freight terminal in Southwest Bexar County, just outside San Antonio, TX, starting in 2007 with a completion date in 2008

Omaha, NE-based railroad conglomerate Union Pacific is investing $90 million to build a new 300-acre intermodal freight terminal in Southwest Bexar County, just outside San Antonio, TX, starting in 2007 with a completion date in 2008.

John Kaiser, vp & gm of UP’s intermodal business, said the new terminal will ship and receive containers and trailers with household goods and other items supporting retailers and distribution centers, as well as auto parts for the new Toyota truck plant recently opened in San Antonio.

“Our railroad’s intermodal volume has been experiencing substantial growth in recent years, which is a reflection of the many consumer goods, electronics, toys and clothing that are being shipped from Asia via intermodal services,” Kaiser said. “We expect intermodal volumes to experience significant growth in the area.”

He noted UP’s new intermodal terminal should support future growth by processing over 100,000 trailers and containers per year—with much of that growth expected by taking freight away from truckload carriers.

“Intermodal trains are an environmentally friendly option of transporting consumer goods compared to long haul trucks,” Kaiser said. “Trains are three times more fuel efficient and produce one-third less emissions than trucks without the wear and tear on taxpayer financed roads and highways.”

He added that a combination of advanced computer systems and technology will coordinate all movement of railcars, trucks, trailers and containers at the facility. This means that a truck entering or leaving the facility should only be stopped at the gate for only 30 to 60 seconds, compared to the national average of four minutes, Kaiser said.
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