North Carolina’s rail infrastructure continues to improve and grow, supporting the needs of logisticians and manufacturers on the East Coast. This distribution infrastructure is part of the reason that the Tar Heel State was just named CNBC’s Best State for Business – a distinction the has earned from several economic development publications. In this article, we’ll look at an exciting new development in the growth of North Carolina’s rail infrastructure: a new intermodal terminal at the Port of Wilmington.
Federal funding supports intermodal rail at Port of Wilmington
According to Port City Daily, North Carolina has been awarded $60.2 million to fund key transportation infrastructure initiatives in the state as part of the federal government’s Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) program.
Most important to logisticians is that $18 million of that funding is allocated for construction of an intermodal facility at the Port of Wilmington, along with related equipment.
According to NC Ports spokesperson Christina Hallingse, “This project will enable N.C. Ports to increase the volume of containers we move by rail from 14,000 containers a year to up to 50,000 containers a year.”
The intermodal project will also reduce the Port’s reliance on trucking by diverting approximately 250,000 containers from trucks to rail across the next 10 years.
According to Port City Daily, “The funding also covers paving 9.7 acres around the rail sidings and three reach-stackers to load rail cars, along with a secluded area near the U.S. Customs and Border Protection required Radiation Portals.”
This upcoming enhancement to the Port of Wilmington is just the latest in a string of major logistics improvements in the Tar Heel State. Recent years have seen new neopanamax cranes at the Port of Wilmington, new partnerships with major container shipping alliances, and renovations to accommodate larger ships. On the intermodal side, the CSX Carolina Connector in Eastern NC went online in 2021. The Connector is an intermodal hub where freight can transfer from rail to truck, or from rail to rail).
Turn to a North Carolina 3PL for intermodal distribution
3PL providers can support your rail movements in several ways. They can receive your products from rail cars and store them in a 3PL warehouse or transload product onto trailers for OTR distribution. Some 3PL facilities have rail siding and/or transload yards to make these processes run even smoother.
- Rail siding. When a 3PL warehouse has a railroad track running alongside it, special rail siding doors can allow trains to unload from boxcars straight into the warehouse. The inverse also applies for the loading of boxcars with outbound product from the warehouse.
- Transload yard. Center-beam cars can be brought to a 3PL’s transload yard. Once in the yard, the products can be loaded onto flatbed trucks which can transport the product inside the warehouse via drive-through doors, or the trucks can head out straightaway and deliver the products to the destination. Some 3PL facilities offer outdoor storage in addition to warehousing for heartier products such as lumber.
At Kanban Logistics in Eastern North Carolina, we have both rail siding and a transload yard at our Rocky Mount facility, which is part of our local network of warehouses totaling over 1 million square feet of space. This Rocky Mount facility is served by CSX rail and can support your movements into and out of the new CSX intermodal terminal. In fact, Kanban is recognized as a premier provider in CSX’s TransFLO program, which transloads commodities between rail cars and trucks in the Eastern U.S. and Canada.
To learn more about the benefits of North Carolina distribution, and the ways in which 3PLs can support intermodal rail operations, contact Kanban Logistics today.