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Tiger Cool Express reveals tri-cities intermodal initiative with Union Pacific

Oct. 25, 2021
Acquisition of railroad’s Cold Connect warehouse to help company broaden regional services for refrigerated exporters, agricultural customers

Tiger Cool Express recently agreed to acquire the former Union Pacific Railroad Cold Connect warehouse, and to develop an adjacent intermodal ramp in Wallula, Wash.

The envisioned Tiger Tri-Cities Logistics Center will benefit the entire agricultural community in the three-state region by providing cost-effective and environmentally benign transportation capacity, the company said. Initially, service is intended to be offered between Wallula and the Northwest Seaport Alliance on-dock facilities for dry and reefer exports (in ISO equipment), as well as between Wallula and Chicago (and beyond), with Tiger Cool Express refrigerated domestic containers and Union Pacific refrigerated boxcars.

“Despite our continued growth and fleet expansion, we realize that our current customers in the Pacific Northwest have a need for a broader portfolio of services,” said Steve Van Kirk, Tiger Cool Express’ chief executive officer. “This will enable us to add export, boxcar, and temperature-controlled consolidation services to our current portfolio.

“It will also allow us to expand our support to local farmers and families by improving the economics of exporting frozen french fries, apples, hay, pulses, and other agricultural commodities."

Service scope is expected to eventually expand into other markets, such as the I-5 corridor and Mexico, Tiger Cool added.

“This is literally back-to-the-future for me,” said Theodore Prince, Tiger’s chief strategy officer and co-founder. “Working for an ocean carrier 25 years ago, we operated barges on the Columbia-Snake River system—in conjunction with our double-stack train network—providing seamless intermodal connectivity to refrigerated and dry exporters. It is exciting to resurrect a similar capacity that will enable agricultural providers to compete more effectively in global markets, while removing highway congestion and pollutants.”

Leslie Baird, Tiger Cool Express’ chief commercial officer, insisted that that the solution also is “environmentally benign.”

“This new service offering will complement the carbon-free load service we already offer,” she said. “It will also allow us to offer boxcar service to commodities that are best served by that mode.

“We are looking forward to handling this new business in 2022.”

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