Canadian railway CN and Norfolk Southern are pairing up to launch a domestic intermodal service that they say will allow customers in CN-served markets in Canada and the Upper Midwest to access markets in the U.S. Southeast.
The service, which will start Oct. 2, will utilize steel-wheel interchanges in Detroit and Chicago and enable CN (NYSE: CNI) customers to gain access to markets in Atlanta and Kansas City, Missouri, via NS (NYSE: NSC). The two Class I railroads say the new service aims to operate “like a single-line intermodal product” and convert shippers from truck to long-haul rail. The service will also provide opportunities for customers to optimize their cargo loaded weights, as well as give customers the ability to lower their shipment-related greenhouse gas emissions, according to a Monday release.
According to a webpage about the service, going between Atlanta and Toronto might take 3.3 to 3.7 days in transit time, while going between Atlanta and Calgary, Alberta, might take 7.1 days.
The service “simplifies [customers’] processes, enabling smoother rail shipments between Canada, Kansas City, and Atlanta,” NS President and CEO Alan Shaw said in a release.
CN and NS’ service follows another partnership that CN has with other major freight railroads — the Falcon Premium service between CN, Union Pacific (NYSE: UNP) and Mexico’s Ferromex established this spring.
Both services offered by CN and others follow the merger that was finalized last spring between Canadian Pacific and Kansas City Southern. That new Class I railroad, Canadian Pacific Kansas City (NYSE: CP), touts its ability to offer single-line service between Canada, the U.S. and Mexico. It launched a daily premium intermodal service between the U.S. Midwest and Mexico in May.
“CN is pleased to provide customers enhanced market access with the launch of another new Intermodal product,” said Tracy Robinson, CN president and CEO. “The reliable, cost-effective, and truck-competitive service will help our customers shift more business onto rail.”
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