Friday, October 11, 2013

INRD dedicates new intermodal terminal

Written by  William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief
INRD dedicates new intermodal terminal Eric Powell/INRD, courtesy of Trains magazine
Indiana Rail Road Company (INRD) President and Chief Executive Officer Tom Hoback and Indiana Governor Mike Pence opened the new Senate Avenue Intermodal Terminal in Indianapolis on Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013. The facility represents a multi-million-dollar investment by INRD and CN built to serve Indiana shippers moving goods to and from Asia.

Indianapolis-based INRD and CN announced a partnership in January to inaugurate all-rail service for trans-Pacific containerized freight from the Canadian ports of Vancouver and Prince Rupert, B.C., to Indianapolis, bypassing the congested Chicago terminal area. The Port of Prince Rupert and Port of Vancouver offer service from major Asian ports across the Pacific Rim, from Vietnam, Japan, South Korea and China; service from Shanghai to Prince Rupert and Vancouver is shorter than other west coast options, based on first-port-of-call service.

CN and INRD have marketed to Indiana importers a total transit time goal of as little as 20 days from Asia to Indianapolis, once portside volume-based efficiencies reach critical mass. On the morning of Oct. 10, hours before the Senate Avenue grand-opening celebration, INRD delivered a trainload of containerized imports to the Indianapolis terminal with a total transit time of just 20 days from Shanghai, without portside efficiencies yet in play.

“While this is a very exciting day for CN and the Indiana Rail Road, it’s a landmark moment for the Indiana business community, and not just importers and exporters,” said Hoback. “Having an intermodal facility near the heart of Indianapolis is an excellent economic development tool for the city and state, which translates to job growth. INRD and CN do business with an entrepreneurial, customer-first spirit top of mind. To the Indiana logistics community, which has supported us throughout the development of this new product, we say ‘thank you,’ and pledge fast, reliable service moving forward.”

“CN is pleased to be part of this supply chain story with INRD,” said CN executive vice-president and chief marketing officer Jean-Jacques Rues. “CN’s objective is to be a true supply chain enabler through its agenda of Operational and Service Excellence. This helps our customers compete more effectively in their own markets in North America or abroad.”

“The State of Indiana has a great story to tell in terms of attracting global businesses to our state: low taxes and cost of doing business, a skilled and dedicated workforce, and excellent infrastructure,” said Gov. Pence. “Indiana Rail Road and CN have taken it upon themselves to further elevate the Indiana brand in the eyes of global manufacturers, retailers, and logistics companies, and I offer my congratulations and appreciation for their efforts.”

A non-traditional ribbon-cutting ceremony marked the grand opening of the Senate Avenue Intermodal Terminal: running a 200-ton INRD locomotive through a ribbon. The ribbon-cutting took place immediately following the conclusion of the 2013 Indiana Logistics Summit, co-hosted by the Ports of Indiana, Purdue University, and Conexus Indiana. Several hundred executives and managers from the transportation, distribution, and logistics industries gathered at the Indiana Convention Center for the two-day conference, which was a near-sellout.