Cold Train expands to keep up with demand

Written by William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief

Cold Train has expanded its Washington State-based refrigerated container fleet to more than 400 state-of-the-art Hyundai 53-foot containers while adding new destinations on the East Coast, due to continued growth.

Cold Train is now delivering refrigerated cargo from Washington and Oregon to the following nineteen states: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia and Florida. Additionally, Cold Train has begun regular express service from Washington and Oregon to Toronto, Ontario.

Cold Train departs Quincy, Wash., and Portland, Ore., six days a week. Door-to-door service takes approximately four to five days to the Midwest and about six to seven days to the East Coast.

BNSF Cold TrainIn addition to shipping Washington State and Oregon fresh produce and frozen foods eastbound, Cold Train is backhauling frozen and refrigerated foods and some dry goods, shipping loaded containers in both directions to maximize equipment utilization, reduce costs, and provide inbound and outbound service for shippers and receivers.

Rail Logistics launched the Cold Train Express Intermodal Service in partnership with Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway and the Port of Quincy in Washington State In early 2010. “Cold Train refrigerated expedited intermodal freight service has grown rapidly in popularity with shippers in Washington State and the Midwest and East Coast, and shipments of Washington State fresh produce and frozen foods on the Cold Train continue to grow at a fast pace,” the company says. “More recently, Cold Train began a similar eastbound express intermodal service from Portland that delivers to the same destinations and locations as it does from Quincy.”

In 2010, Cold Train shipped approximately 100 containers of perishable commodities per month from Washington State to the Midwest. In 2011, the number of shipments increased to about 300 containers per month. In 2012, Cold Train was hauling more than 500 containers. In 2013, that number has grown to nearly 700 containers per month and is expected to hit 1,000 by the end of 2013

“We continue to listen closely to our customers as we’ve developed our service offering on the Cold Train,” said Cold Train CEO and President, Steve Lawson. “As a result, our volume has increased an order of magnitude in less than four years, and we look forward to significant continued growth over the next five years.”

Continued business growth has also resulted in Cold Train hiring more staff and adding more office space at its headquarters office in Overland Park, Kan., where the company recently completed a second expansion. Cold Train is also expanding its Quincy, Wash., office, and opened a Chicago office earlier this year.

Cold Train and Hyundai will be displaying a new refrigerated container at the IANA (Intermodal Association of North America) Expo, November 17-19 in Houston.