This new four-day, door-to-door Cold Train service will be available a potential of six days a week depending on market demands.
"In fact, we already have our new 53-foot refrigerated containers arriving in Quincy, Wash., and are currently booking loads and will begin daily service this week," said Steve Lawson, vice president of Rail Logistics.
The new service will connect growers and producers in the Pacific Northwest and the Midwest by providing an intermodal pipeline between two of the largest cold storage and distribution operators. Nearly 95 percent of Washington's pears, apples and cherries are currently shipped by truck and exported fruit is moved by boat, according to the Wenatchee Valley Traffic Association.
As reported on Truckinginfo in December, at 53 feet including a nose-mount reefer unit, the special Cold Train container is designed to be used by rail double-stack operations in association with a nationwide drayage operation to offer door-to-door refrigerated intermodal service.
"With fuel prices continuing to be relatively high and with the increasing pressure on shippers to reduce carbon emissions, this new intermodal service option ... will give agricultural and other shippers a fantastic new alternative that is both economical and more environmentally sustainable," said Pat Connelly, commissioner, Port of Quincy.
Pat Lombard, general manager of Chicago Cold Storage (a business unit of LaGROU Distribution), said there has been great interest shown recently by produce and frozen shippers and receivers in the Midwest.