Port-rail agreement to link Cleveland shippers
The Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority in Ohio on Wednesday approved an agreement with Cleveland Commercial Railroad Co. (CCR), a short line railroad that already operates two lines totaling 23 miles that serve a portion of Cleveland's industrial area.
This pilot agreement calls for CCR to locally market rail services to and from the port and manage scheduling and operations of the port's rail system, the port authority said.
The arrangement will not require any expenditures by the port authority. CCR will earn revenue through proceeds generated by the service. CCR will pay the port authority a sliding rate after annual volume exceeds 500,000 tons.
'We believe this partnership will help upgrade the port's rail service — something critical to our competitive position,' said Will Friedman, the port authority's chief executive officer, in a statement. 'Improved rail access will make the port more accessible to businesses looking to cut their shipping costs and improve their international reach.'
CCR will be responsible for negotiating switching agreements and scheduling protocols with Norfolk Southern and CSX railroads, which serve the port via separate tracks.
The short line will provide advice on designing the planned rail loop, which would connect the tracks at the port. The loop will also add more than a mile of additional track to the port, allowing more rail cars to be brought in and switched on site.
Port authority officials said the partnership's work will begin immediately and the rail loop improvement project will be completed later this year.