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4/11/2006



Rail News: Intermodal

BNSF to open office in China



By July, BNSF Railway Co. expects to become the second Class I and first U.S. railroad to open an office in China. BNSF will be able to solidify its relationship with China and expand its Asian presence by manning a Shanghai office, officials announced yesterday at the Class I’s first-ever International Supply Chain Summit in Shanghai.

Since 2000, BNSF’s international intermodal business — most of which originates in China — has grown at a compound annual rate of more than 13 percent. In 2004, the railroad and China Ministry of Railways signed a five-year agreement to exchange best practices in railway management, operations, logistics and technology.

“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, BNSF group vice president, consumer products, in a prepared statement. "The summit and new China office will allow us to … strengthen existing partnerships with key stakeholders in international trade and explore growth opportunities in other Asian countries.”

In the early 1970s, BNSF and its predecessors opened the railroad’s first offices in Japan. In late 2004, Canadian National Railway Co. opened offices in Shanghai and Beijing.


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