US importers and forwarders are looking to New York’s Port Elizabeth Terminal for a faster intermodal link to the US Midwest and Canada. APM Terminals Elizabeth is marketing a new service that claims faster transfers from ship to rail.
US importers and forwarders are looking to New York’s Port Elizabeth Terminal for a faster intermodal link to the US Midwest and Canada.
APM Terminals Elizabeth is marketing a new service that claims faster transfers from ship to rail, with multiple daily train departures to the interior.
Key to the operation is a direct-to-rail landing zone at the terminal for rapid transfer of containers to an 18-track rail operation to build double-stack trains to feed the networks of CSX, Norfolk Southern and CN, the three Class I rail carriers offering transit times to the Midwest and Canada of between two and four days.
According to APM Terminals, the fast box transfer from vessel to train results in 12-hour dwell time for import rail cargo, while four train departures a day to the interior will translate into short transit times.
The terminal recently completed a $200m infrastructure investment that saw the installation of new ship-to-shore cranes and truck gates and modernised IT systems.
And detention times for imported boxes have come down 75%, according to the terminal operator.
One factor that adds to the attraction of the new intermodal service is that Port Elizabeth is the first port of call on the US east coast for multiple vessel services, and forwarders have welcomed the new offering.
“Anything a port does to improve transit or reliability is a big bonus,” said Craig Grossgart, SVP global ocean at Seko Logistics.
“It’s a great idea. It’s the kind of service that is needed,” added Bob Imbriani, EVP international of Team Worldwide, who hopes the new service lives up to its promise, given the problems that have plagued imports into the US.
“One question we have is how can they control all the players in the process?” he asked. “We’ve had significant problems with rail out of east coast ports.”
Team is planning to do a test shipment to ascertain the reliability of the service, Mr Imbriani said, adding that forwarders and importers will be clamouring for it if it lives up to expectations.
Mr Grossgart reckons the service will be well received. Expedited intermodal offerings through the main west coast gateway with rapid transfers and fast train runs to the interior (BNSF managed a 104-hour transit to Chicago) have proven extremely popular, he pointed out.
While APM Terminals’ venture looks particularly appealing in the present landscape of clogged up terminals and rail yards, the port of Baltimore is embarking on a longer-term play to position itself as a gateway for intermodal traffic to the interior.
2023-02-08 890 Views Seaports
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