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Rail News: Intermodal

Chinese intermodal firm tours BNSF's intermodal facilities


Officials from China Railway Container Transport Co. (CRCTC) — China’s largest intermodal transportation firm — recently visited BNSF Railway Co.’s intermodal terminals to observe operations and learn best practices. Officials also toured other U.S. railroads and ports, and rail industry suppliers’ facilities during a national visit hosted by the U.S. Trade and Development Agency.

"The delegation members were very impressed by both the volume handled at [our] facilities as well as the technology," said Fred Malesa, BNSF vice president of international marketing, in a prepared statement.

Between 1978 and 2003, Chinese freight traffic increased more than six-fold from 2.5 billion tons to 15.6 billion tons, CRCTC estimates. During the next 15 years, China will average about 7.5 percent annual traffic growth, tripling volume to 50 billion tons by 2020.

CRCTC officials are seeking ways to increase intermodal traffic and developing a long-term expansion program. Within 20 years, the company plans to build intermodal infrastructure, including 18 container terminals at hub stations, and redevelop 40 stations into intermodal-handling facilities.

"Our logistics parks concept is internationally recognized, and China is modeling their 18 new intermodal facilities after such a successful intermodal facility," said Malesa.

CRCTC visited BNSF’s terminals because the company recognizes the Class I as the "world’s leading intermodal carrier and largest transporter of intermodal container traffic from China," said CRCTC Vice President Han Xiaoming.