Friday, January 6, 2012

Investment Report Indicates the Scale of US intermodal and Bulk Rail Freight

Annual Review from CSX Shows Confidence in the Track Borne Cargo Sector
Shipping News Feature

US – The annual review of investment activity from cargo carriers CSX Corporation, headquartered in Florida but serving the entire length of the East coast and into the District of Columbia, gives an idea of the size of US rail freight business and demonstrates the inherent capability of track based cargo carriage over road haulage when huge distances are involved. During 2011 the company which provides bulk and intermodal rail services throughout its 21,000 mile network has witnessed customers commit to 124 new or expanded facilities on CSX and its short line railroad partners worth almost $1.4 billion.

The investment comes from clients in the manufacturing, consumer goods, energy and other sectors and is spread across seventeen of the 28 states which CSX services. The facilities will be built or expanded on CSX lines and on some of the more than 240 short lines and regional railroads that connect to CSX. Ultimately, these facilities will contribute more than $230 million in annual revenue to CSX according to Clark Robertson, CSX Assistant Vice President-Regional Development who adds:

"Despite ongoing economic uncertainty during 2011, our customers continue to demonstrate strong interest in rail service and CSX in particular. It is testimony to the underlying value proposition that rail offers."

The company points out that according to their calculations just one gallon of fuel is required to transport a ton of freight almost 500 miles, an obvious financial bonus at the moment and additionally conserving fuel and limiting emissions. The CSX network connects to more than seventy ocean, lake and river ports and the company works at assisting potential customers by offering its certified Select Site program to manufacturing firms seeking new plant locations along CSX's network, as well as track design and logistics expertise. The company's TRANSFLO transload services offer a way for non-rail served shippers to connect to the North American rail network.

The investment in all seventeen states is substantial with the big winners being West Virginia with $515 million and North Carolina with $385 million whilst CSX’s home state of Florida receives a not inconsiderable $165.5 million.