Canadian Pacific Kansas City (CPKC) is adding 1,000 new, 53-foot, refrigerated intermodal containers—”reefers,” in railroad terms, though the name usually refers to refrigerated boxcars—to its transnational, single-line service network, more than doubling CPKC’s existing fleet and “bringing more shipping options to customers using the expanding Mexico Midwest Express (MMX) Series premium intermodal service.”
CPKC describes MMX as “North America’s first single-line rail service offering for refrigerated shippers from the Midwest to Mexico, a market currently served by trucks. Single-line haul efficiencies, combined with seamless crossborder service, make CPKC intermodal transit times competitive with over-the-road-trucks. Converting trucks to rail reduces emissions and makes highways safer, another realization of the benefits of the CPKC combination.”
The MMX temperature-controlled service will move fresh and frozen produce, baked goods, candy and other food products northbound and beef, chicken and pork to southern markets. The new refrigerated containers are part of CPKC’s TempPro™ solutions, “ensuring products that require temperature protection are transported safely in a fast, reliable, and fuel-efficient service that brings optionality and more competition to North American supply chains.”
The MMX Series debuted May 11 with trains linking Chicago, Kansas City, Texas markets, Monterrey and San Luis Potosi. MMX trains offer third-day service to/from Laredo, fourth-day service to/from Monterrey, and 4.5-day service to/from San Luis Potosi. MMX provides transit time of 98 hours from Chicago to San Luis Potosi, “one day faster than the nearest competitor.” Dedicated intermodal service between Lázaro Cardenas, Mexico and Chicago began operating as a proof of concept on an interline basis in March 2022, between then Canadian Pacific and Kansas City Southern.
“Since being launched on May 11, MMX has provided truck-competitive service, delivering exactly what we promised and executing what many said could not be done,” said Jonathan Wahba, CPKC Senior Vice President Sales and Marketing Bulk and Intermodal. “We’re providing customers with the fastest transit times in the rail industry, and this expansion of our state-of-the-art reefer equipment gives more customers the solution they need to convert to rail.”
The average intermodal train, CPKC notes, takes more than 300 trucks off the road with 75% fewer greenhouse gas emissions than trucks. Freight trains, as the Association of American Railroads points out, are four times more fuel efficient than trucks and can move one ton of freight 500 miles on one gallon of fuel.
In April, CPKC announced new multi-year agreements with Schneider and Knight-Swift Transportation for intermodal transportation services along the CPKC single-line north-south corridor. CPKC notes that it “is working with customers and investing in infrastructure to unlock the full potential of the newly combined network while continually advancing industry-leading safety and sustainability practices.”