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BNSF touts customer investments in railroad’s development program

Facilities located on BNSF’s network in West and Midwest

A BNSF train heads to its next destination. (Image: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

Article updated with comments from ColdPoint Logistics

Customers in BNSF’s (NYSE: BRK) rail development program in 2020 invested about $1.1 billion to build or expand facilities on BNSF properties, according to the western U.S. railroad.

The customers include agricultural, consumer and industrial producers. Among them are Coldpoint Logistics, a cold storage solutions provider that invested $25 million and opened phase four of its facility at BNSF’s Logistics Park Kansas City in Kansas; Delta Peanut, which invested $70 million to add two tracks for shipping outbound peanuts at its facility in Jonesboro, Arkansas; and Ingredion, an ingredients provider that invested more than $100 million in its facility in South Sioux City, Nebraska.

“At BNSF, our rail development program offers unique supply chain solutions that fit our customers’ varied logistical needs.” said Colby Tanner, BNSF assistant vice president of economic development, in a release. “The flexibility of our program provides our customers with the necessary tools to maximize their investments, while saving them time and money in reaching their distinct markets.”

Said Ingredion of its participation in the program: “Our strong and resilient supply chain relies on railroad transportation, and we have maintained very productive relationships with a vast network of railroads that dates back over 100 years to when they were a critical link between rural farm communities and emerging cities.” 

The company continued, “Today, that continued partnership is evident as we have continued to deliver our ingredients through a global network of railroads throughout the pandemic. As an essential business, we take great pride in providing our global customers with a safe and steady supply of ingredients that they need for their food and beverages. Our global network of railroad suppliers is strategically located near our manufacturing facilities, and our newest location in South Sioux City, Nebraska, is conveniently located in America’s heartland.”

Dane Bear, vice president of sales and marketing for ColdPoint Logistics, said intermodal access to BNSF via the inland port there has helped the company save on transportation costs.

Cold Point Logistics typically ships about 200 to 250 containers weekly, and each container weighs about 54,000 lbs. Its customers, many of whom specialize export food protein products to the Pacific Rim, previously used three Los Angeles-bound trucks for every container. 

“Customers can save a substantial amount of money” by using BNSF at the inland port, Bear said.

BNSF is an asset of Berkshire Hathaway.

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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.