Norfolk Southern and Florida East Coast Railway Expand Intermodal Offerings

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Norfolk Southern and Florida East Coast Railway (FEC) are expanding their domestic intermodal service offering for customers that have business in Florida.

The expanded intermodal service consists of two components. To provide customers with more options in Florida, NS (NYSE: NSC) will include FEC’s intermodal terminals in Fort Pierce and Fort Lauderdale into NS’ service network, which will complement existing service at FEC terminals in Titusville and Miami. NS and FEC will also use a steel wheel interchange to FEC at Jacksonville, which will expand customers’ access to markets in Chicago; Cincinnati; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; St. Louis and Kansas City, Missouri; Memphis, Tennessee; and Lathrop and Southern California, according to a Wednesday news release. 

The expanded service will start next Monday.

The two say these expanded offerings will provide customers with an opportunity to land traffic closer to facilities in the major Florida markets and reduce drayage.

“Florida East Coast Railway is ready to reach additional markets on the East and West Coasts of the United States by furthering its strong relationship with Norfolk Southern,” Luis Hernández, FEC vice president for intermodal, said in the release. “It is a good time to work together to enhance the advantages that FEC offers to access strategic cities in the U.S.”

NS Chief Marketing Officer Ed Elkins added, “As part of our customer-centric and operations-driven approach, we are constantly looking for opportunities to drive value and help our customers efficiently reach new markets.” 

Wednesday’s announcement follows another one by NS earlier this month in which the rail carrier said it was partnering with Canadian railway CN (NYSE: CNI) 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 also start next Monday, will utilize steel-wheel interchanges in Detroit and Chicago and enable CN customers to gain access to markets in Atlanta and Kansas City. The two Class I railroads said the new service aims to operate “like a single-line intermodal product” and convert shippers from truck to long-haul rail.

NS’ two expanded intermodal offerings come at a time when its peers are also seeking to beef up their intermodal offerings, especially following the merger between Canadian Pacific and Kansas City Southern. 

In early September, NS competitor CSX (NASDAQ: CSX) said it was launching an intermodal service with the Georgia Ports Authority connecting the Port of Savannah with CSX’s terminal in Rocky Mount, North Carolina. Days later, Union Pacific (NYSE: UNP) and CN said they shaved off one day of transit time for the Falcon Premium intermodal service product that they operate with Ferromex.

Source: Freight Waves