BNSF Reaches into China, Looks for Domestic Expansion

Slated to open this quarter in Shanghai, the BNSF office there is a reaction to the railroad’s growth in international intermodal business, most of it from China, that has experienced a compound annual growth rate of more than 13% since 2000.

Since the early 1980’s, BNSF and its earlier railroads have had dealings with China, bringing imports to the U.S. on COSCO, the Chinese ocean carrier while exporting grain to China. On June 4, 2004, the railroad signed a five-year Memorandum of Understanding for cooperation in rail transport with the China Ministry of Railways.

BNSF is conducting a feasibility study in the Gardner, Kansas area to determine the potential for a new Logistics Park and Intermodal Hub Center there. The railroad already has two significant Logistics Parks created with assistance by third-party developers in Chicago and near Fort Worth, Texas.

Beyond just an intermodal hub center, the Logistics Parks go beyond interaction between trucks and trains with their trailers and containers by developing adjacent freight distribution and warehousing centers and motor vehicle distribution facilities.

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