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Rail News: Norfolk Southern Railway

CN joins EMP program, sets new Gulf Coast export program record

Shown: A map of the Equipment Management Pool program's coverage area.
Photo – CN


Last month, CN joined Norfolk Southern Railway and Union Pacific Railroad as an exclusive partner in the Equipment Management Pool (EMP) program.

The domestic interline service program aims to provide extensive coverage throughout North America by offering a fleet of more than 40,000 53-foot dry containers. The EMP program provides seamless access to all major cities within Canada and the United States, and numerous major markets in Mexico.

CN’s participation in the EMP program enables shippers to reach new west, east and southern markets, leveraging the networks of the largest Class Is while enhancing CN’s participation in the North American supply chain, CN officials said in an online post.

As part of its commitment to the partnership, CN plans to help expand the EMP fleet by 2,500 containers and purchase additional chassis.

“We continue to invest in broadening our range of intermodal services in North America with options that bring more supply-chain flexibility to our customers,” said Keith Reardon, CN’s senior vice president of consumer product supply chain growth.

CN also announced that its direct rail Gulf Coast export program exceeded the previous annual volume high set in 2014 with two months to go in 2022.

“You need to go back to 2007-08 to see a direct rail program to the Gulf this strong on CN, and [we are] positioned well to eclipse this level,” CN officials said. “These results demonstrate [our] commitment to serving U.S. agricultural customers, including through some challenging circumstances.”

The direct rail program to the Gulf was driven by brisk export demand for corn and soybeans. In addition, the war in Ukraine resulted in significant shifts in commodity trade flows and caused a spike in demand, CN officials said.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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