Tag Archives: inland warehouses

BNSF plans $1.5B Southern California facility for intermodal, transloading

This has been a winning strategy in the past for BNSF and other Class I rails. I am reminded of the Centerpoint facility near Chicago, which provides BNSF a transfer point in the Midwest. But Centerpoint was developed with money from investors, CalPERS being the largest. BNSF hopes to be the prime developer in Barstow, CA.

In case you don’t know where that is, Barstow is in the middle of the Mojave desert, 132 miles from the Port of LA (about 2 hr 27min as I look at Google Maps). It is right on I-15, the main route the movie stars take to go to Las Vegas from LA. Parts of it around San Bernardino are already traffic jams at many hours. However, the BNSF vision is that containers from the port will move by train, reducing traffic on I-15 and other LA freeways.

The Alameda Corridor already moves containers inland a good 20 miles. It’s a double-stack double-track route. BNSF will ensure good rail service from the Barstow yards to the ports.

Transloading and distribution warehouses will be built near Barstow on the BNSF complex. I believe BNSF sees this as a good real estate play as well as a plan to improve container rail service.

I am wondering if the plans for Barstow include customs processing. If so, that would be good for both imports and exports, because they would not have to wait for customs on the ports. That would aid in reducing port congestion.

Joanna Marsh Monday, October 3, 2022

BNSF plans $1.5B Southern California facility for intermodal, transloading – FreightWaves

Long Beach in tie-up with inland port and rail operator to move boxes faster

The Port of Long Beach has made a deal with a Utah site to transfer containers there, to relieve the congestion at the Long Beach terminal yards.

Moving containers by rail to Utah will clear space at the port and allow faster unloading there. The containers can then be picked up in Utah and forwarded to the points in the US.

This is a good strategy for the port. Many European ports, such as Rotterdam, Hamburg, and Antwerp, have done the same thing. In Europe, the containers tend to be moved by river barge or truck, but in the US, rail is the natural transportation mode to use.

It’s an idea that has been suggested years ago for the large ports on the West Coast US, but it took a crisis for it to happen.

I thought that long ago the ports would make such agreements with the Centerpoint complex in the Chicago area. Much of the container cargo moves to the Chicago area, for distribution to the rest of the United States. 8 years ago, Centerpoint had empty space available. Now it is completely built out, according to my informants.

Below the articles, I’ve provided my reference to our article of 2014, which suggested forging alliances with the Chicago warehouses.

By Ian Putzger in Toronto 28/10/2021

Long Beach in tie-up with inland port and rail operator to move boxes faster  – The Loadstar
Published Oct. 28, 2021
Sarah Zimmerman

Union Pacific steps up efforts to ease West Coast port congestion

Our paper of 2014:

Clott, Christopher B. and Bruce C. Hartman. (2014). “Supply Chain Integration, Landside Operations and Port Accessibility in Metropolitan Chicago”.  Journal of Transportation Geography (51) 131-139. DOI: 10.1016/j.jtrangeo.2015.12.005

Maersk joins CP Rail inland with new transload facility

Maersk is in the forefront of expanding their supply chain control into the hinterland. The Port of Vancouver is in a very closed in space, a bit like San Francisco, with little room to expand facilities. Maersk has finally grasped the idea that they should cooperate with supply chain members rather than simply do business deals.

Maersk is now finally positioning itself as a full service logistics provider instead of simply an ocean carrier. It’s taken many years, as ling as I’ve been working in it, for maritime companies to see this, and Maersk is way out in front of their rivals.

It will be useful for Maersk to transload containers inland, where there is much less congestion and where a special purpose facility can be built, and where there’s a direct link to a large rail network through Western Canada down into the Midwest. I think there is even a CP terminal in the Chicago area.

By Ian Putzger in Toronto 18/09/2020

Maersk gets on board with CP Rail to move inland with new transload facility – The Loadstar