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BNSF customers again pump $1 billion-plus into projects near rail network

A BNSF train. Washington State Department of Transportation/Flickr

Western U.S. railroad BNSF said its customers invested approximately $1.2 billion last year in capital projects near BNSF’s network.

For nine consecutive years, BNSF’s customers and local development organizations have invested over $1 billion collectively for new or expanded facilities, BNSF said. BNSF is a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK).

“BNSF strives to offer unique supply chain solutions that fit our customers’ logistical needs and help maximize their investments,” said Colby Tanner, BNSF assistant vice president of economic development. “The flexibility of our rail development program allows our customers to reach new growing markets while saving time and money.”

The industries that invested in 2019 span the consumer, agricultural and industrial products industries. They include, among others:

  • Ag Processing Inc. — The company invested $300 million and opened its 10th soybean processing location in Aberdeen, South Dakota. The facility is expected to process more than 50 million bushels of soybeans annually;
  • Hostess Brands LLC — Hostess invested $35 million for a new distribution center in Edgerton, Kansas. The center “strengthens the company’s distribution strategy with a direct connection to the nation’s supply chain through Logistics Park Kansas City,” BNSF said; and
  • SeaCa Packaging — A plastics manufacturer and subsidiary of Seattle-Tacoma Box Co., SeaCa Packaging invested $18 million in opening its first plant location in Surprise, Arizona, “creating boxes for agriculture products and gaining access to demand in the Southwest region” BNSF said.

Wednesday’s announcement follows one from Feb. 12, in which BNSF said it is building the Logistics Center North Houston at Cleveland, Texas. The rail-served facility will help businesses increase their reach and speed to the densely populated Houston market and surrounding area, BNSF said.

The logistics center will be next to Interstate 69 and State Highway 105 and will have more than 20 new customer sites. It will also have the ability to handle both manifest mixed freight and unit train single-commodity customers.

BNSF reported its fourth-quarter results earlier this week.

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Joanna Marsh

Joanna is a Washington, DC-based writer covering the freight railroad industry. She has worked for Argus Media as a contributing reporter for Argus Rail Business and as a market reporter for Argus Coal Daily.