Since the Cold Train refrigerated intermodal container rail and distribution service started a year ago, it has rapidly grown, serving produce shippers in the Pacific Northwest as well as shippers in the Midwest. The Cold Train service runs five days a week from Port of Quincy, Wash., to Chicago, using rail and truck transportation.
According to Steve Lawson, vice president of intermodal for Cold Train, eastbound shipments of produce have doubled since the beginning of the year and continue to climb. Additionally, westbound shipments of cargo on the Cold Train from Chicago to Washington State have increased by several hundred percent from a year ago. The company expects 300 percent growth this year over 2010.
Cold Train's trip takes less than four days, much faster than typical rail refrigerated boxcar service, which can take up to two weeks. Additionally, the Cold Train reduces carbon footprint by as much as 50 percent when compared to standard shipping. The reefer units on the Cold Train can be tracked and remotely controlled.