McKay TransCold has officially launched TransCold Express, a hub-to-hub refrigerated boxcar service that runs bi-directionally between Wilmington, Ill., and Selma, Calif.
As the first refrigerated boxcar unit train connecting the Midwest and West Coast in more than half a century, TransCold Express presents produce growers and meat and dairy producers the opportunity to distribute products more cost-effectively. It also provides a link to all U.S. destinations.
TransCold Express will operate on BNSF Railway, with cargo being transferred from truck to boxcar through a new refrigerated building operated by National Logistics and Cold Storage (NLCS). McKay TransCold and NLCS are hosting a grand-opening ceremony May 21 at the TransCold Express hub in the RidgePort Logistics Center, a 1,500-acre industrial park 40 miles southwest of Chicago.
RidgePort Logistics Center is being developed by Ridge Development, the industrial arm of Transwestern Development Co.
“McKay TransCold is dedicated to finding the most efficient and cost-effective transportation methods for its clients,” said Randy McKay, chief executive officer of McKay TransCold, in a written statement. “Because TransCold Express connects to transportation hubs on both ends, this service is not point A to point B. It’s from point A to anywhere.”
TransCold Express will haul products such as vegetables, fruit, cheese and butter from California to the Midwest and carry meat, eggs, cheese, butter, finished goods and dairy creamers westbound. The service takes four days to reach the Midwest from California, the same speed as by truck but at a significantly lower cost.
Depending on the circumstances, a shipper could save between 5 percent and 15 percent by using the boxcar service versus trucking. TransCold Express is also a more environmentally friendly method of transport, as one boxcar holds the same volume as four trucks, making it four times more fuel efficient.