A managed affiliate of OmniTRAX, Inc. has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Cleveland Commercial Railroad (CCRL) and its wholly owned subsidiary, Cleveland Harbor Belt Railroad (CHB). The acquisition is expected to close in late August 2019, and terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
CCRL operates on 35 miles of track in northern Ohio, while CHB manages the Port of Cleveland’s rail switching service. The primary commodities shipped include steel, scrap metals, grain and chemicals. CCRL interchanges with Norfolk Southern (NS) and the Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway. CHB interchanges with NS and CSX. As part of the acquisition, CCRL will be renamed Cleveland & Cuyahoga Railway, LLC and the CHB will be renamed Cleveland Port Railway, LLC.
OmniTRAX has operated the Newburgh & South Shore Railroad in Cleveland and the Northern Ohio and Western Railway in Toledo for more than 20 years. These rail lines serve the Midwest and Great Lakes, which are key North American manufacturing, distribution and logistics markets that allow OmniTRAX to offer customers a valuable network of rail and multi-modal supply chain services.
“OmniTRAX has been growing at an average annual rate of more than 20% for the past five years, and the acquisition of CCRL and CHB allows us to continue to strengthen the valuable network that makes us such an important partner to our customers and believe our increased presence will have a long-term, positive economic impact for all involved,” said Kevin Shuba, CEO, OmniTRAX.
“We look forward to working with the Port of Cleveland and are confident our partnership will lead to significant growth in both marine and rail activity. We expect the partnership with the Port of Cleveland will be another example of the success OmniTRAX and its partners have achieved when rail and maritime work together.”
“The Port of Cleveland is excited to partner with OmniTRAX and further build out the on-dock rail business at our general docks,” says David Gutheil, Chief Commercial Officer at the Port of Cleveland. “OmniTRAX has a substantial customer base across their existing network and a history of leveraging their strong partnerships with the Class I railroads to increase revenues and find new lines of business. We share their entrepreneurial spirit and look forward to working closely with their team and our terminal operator, Logistec, to provide cost effective and efficient solutions for our shipping community.”