UP Shuts Down Cold Connect

Written by William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief
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Union Pacific on May 8, 2020 shut down its Cold Connect service for perishables traffic from the West Coast to the East Coast. Cold Connect began in January 2017 with the acquisition from Railex of three cold storage and distribution facilities in Delano, Calif.; Wallula, Wash.; and Rotterdam, N.Y.

UP spokesperson Kristen South provided this statement to Railway Age:

“Friday, May 8, we notified employees that Cold Connect, a Loup Logistics service that moves refrigerated products from the West Coast to Union Pacific’s warehouse in Rotterdam, N.Y., will permanently close. Most Cold Connect-related positions have been eliminated. This decision was not made lightly. Since acquiring the Railex assets in 2017, employees diligently worked to grow volumes and create a platform for the future; however, with COVID-19 impacting volume and truck prices, it is no longer sustainable to continue operations. Customers also were notified that Friday was the last day we accepted inbound orders. Our intention is to deliver on all product in transit, until it meets its final destination. A reduced staff will temporarily remain in position to execute these final commitments.”

Cold Connect trains originated from a UP-owned facility in Wallula, Wash., and were routed through Oregon, Idaho and Chicago to Syracuse and its destination, another UP hub in Rotterdam, N.Y.

In 2017, when the service started, UP said that it “expanded its Food Network with the introduction of Cold Connect—a new service that provides food and beverage shippers with fast, reliable, door-to-door transportation and access to a wide range of service solutions—all while maintaining the cold chain. With these strategically located Cold Connect terminals available, we are providing new opportunities for food and beverage shippers across the country. Our terminals are perfectly suited to handle inventory consolidation and forward distribution, optimizing your transportation dollars. By positioning freight closer to final destination, we help you control inventory more efficiently and speed up reaction time to accommodate changing needs. Cold Connect Northeast’s strategic Rotterdam facility is served well by rail, yet lacks the congestion of most major metropolitan areas. That allows us to service five major cities in four hours or less. When you factor that in, along with the largest weekly temperature-controlled TL & LTL capacity in North America and consistent weekly scheduling, this assures you more efficient transfer of your goods to market. In addition, high volume manufacturers, importers, and national brands rely heavily on our East-West route for expedited forwarding to major markets across Western North America, including the Pacific Northwest, U.S. West Coast, and Southwest Canada.”

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