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Rail News: Intermodal
Rail developments emerge at four U.S. ports
Yesterday, Florida East Coast Railway L.L.C. (FEC) unveiled its state-of-the-art Intermodal Container Transfer Facility (ICTF) at Port Everglades in Broward County, Fla.
The facility increases the railroad's available intermodal capacity from 100,000 to 450,000 lifts per year and improves the transfer of domestic and international containers between ships and rail, FEC officials said in a press release. Containers previously were drayed off-port to nearby rail terminals, such as an Andrews Avenue yard in Fort Lauderdale or Hialeah yard in Miami.
The ICTF also enables FEC to build 9,000-foot unit trains within the port without blocking city streets, and allows cargo to be moved to and from Atlanta and Charlotte, N.C., in two days, and Nashville and Memphis, Tenn., in three days. With connections to CSX Transportation and Norfolk Southern Railway, FEC can offer rail service to 70 percent of the U.S. population within four days.
The ICTF is expected to reduce congestion on interstate highways and local roads, and lower air emissions because cargo loading and offloading operations will take place at the port. The facility is projected to divert an estimated 180,000 trucks from area roads by 2027.
Also in Florida, Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward late last week announced Offshore Inland Marine & Oilfield Services (OIMO) plans to build a manufacturing facility at the city-owned Port of Pensacola.
A topside and riding crew repair service provider, OIMO plans to establish a manufacturing and qualification testing facility at the port with non-metallic pipe manufacturer DeepFlex.
Expected to be fully operational in second-half 2015, the facility would produce up to 62 miles of specialized pipe annually, which would be shipped via rail, truck, barge, cargo ship or direct load-out to subsea pipe-laying vessels, city officials said in a press release. On-dock rail service is provided by BNSF Railway Co., CSX and the Alabama & Gulf Coast Railway.
Meanwhile, the Port of Virginia in fiscal-year 2014 handled 2.3 million 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs), eclipsing its previous fiscal-year volume record set in FY2013 by 140,476 TEUs. On a year-over-year basis, volume rose 6.5 percent.
Also in FY2014, which ended June 30, total container volume rose 6.2 percent to 1.3 million units, rail container volume climbed 8.9 percent to 447,407 units and total truck container volume increased 5.6 percent to 822,060 units compared with FY2013 figures. The Norfolk port is served by CSX, NS, Bay Coast Railroad Inc. and Norfolk & Portsmouth Belt Line Railroad Co.
"We had a record-setting fiscal year … and we're also tracking for a record calendar year," said John Reinhart, the Virginia Port Authority's chief executive officer and executive director, in a press release.
The port ended FY2014 with strong volume results in June. Total volume reached 186,403 TEUs, up 6 percent, while rail container volume jumped 12.1 percent, truck container volume increased 1.6 percent and vehicle units skyrocketed 122.9 percent compared with June 2013 figures.
Also on the East Coast, Holt Logistics Corp. has announced it entered into a partnership with the South Jersey Port Corp. (SJPC) to build a marine terminal at the Port of Paulsboro, N.J.
The 190-acre facility will be the first multipurpose marine terminal to be constructed on the Delaware River in more than 30 years, Holt Logistics and SJPC officials said in a press release.
SJPC expects to complete a $170 million redevelopment of the Paulsboro terminal by next year. Additional infrastructure improvements at the site include a dedicated bridge and off-ramp connecting to Interstate 295, and the construction of four miles of railroad track.
"The Paulsboro Marine Terminal will be a modern, multifaceted facility that will greatly increase shipping capacity for a full range of commodities," said Holt Logistics President Leo Holt. "The Delaware River port complex stretching from Wilmington to Trenton is known worldwide for safe and efficient handling of steel, forest products, project cargo, rolling stock and containers."
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