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July 3, 2023

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40 Journal of Commerce | July 3, 2023 Cool Cargoes Market Report Special Report temperature-controlled containers capable of handling reefer business. Smaller, more specialized providers such as C.R. England, Prime Inc. and NFI also own temperature-con- trolled containers. One such spe- cialist, Kansas-based Tiger Cool Express, suddenly shut down opera- tions June 13. None of those companies have partnered with CPKC yet, but use either BNSF Railway or Union Pacific Railroad, which would require an interchange from CPKC in southern Texas. CPKC said the average inter- modal train takes more than 300 trucks off the road, which it hopes will convince shippers concerned with their environmental footprint to switch to rail. JOC email: twitter: @arijashe CANADIAN PACIFIC KANSAS City (CPKC) is adding 1,000 new tem- perature-controlled intermodal containers into its Mexico network to support a recently launched daily train from central Mexico to Chi- cago, hoping to capture business now traveling across the border on trucks. The containers, which will dou- ble CPKC's reefer fleet, will be used to support fresh and frozen produce, baked goods, candy and other food products from Mexico to the US, and beef, chicken and pork from the US to Mexico. "... [T]his expansion of our state- of-the-art reefer equipment gives more customers the solution they need to convert to rail," Jonathan Wahba, CPKC's senior vice presi- dent of sales and marketing for bulk and intermodal, said in a statement May 29. CPKC on May 11 launched its Mexico-to-Chicago train service, called the Mexico Midwest Express (MMX), stopping in San Luis Potosi, Monterrey, Kansas City and Chicago. The primary partners in the service Cold conversions CPKC adds new reefer containers to Mexico-US service By Ari Ashe CPKC Industry giants such as J. B. Hunt Transport Services have now embraced the temperature-controlled containerized business line, and other major providers such as C.R. England, KLLM Transport, Marten Transport and Prime Inc. have also transitioned from trailers to containers. More than 10,000 reefer inter- modal containers are in operation today, according to data from Jason Hilsenbeck, who tracks fleet sizes for drayage matching service Loadmatch. com and Victim of the market Tiger Cool suffered from several events that negatively affected its business in the last nine months. The threat of a crippling rail strike in the US at the end of last year impacted temperature-controlled intermodal providers more than dry intermodal given the special handling required for produce, ice cream, frozen food and other food items. This year, intermodal providers have been stacking as much as 15% to 20% of their container fleets amid falling demand. Domestic intermodal volumes had fallen 7.3% year over year through April, according to the Intermodal Association of North America (IANA). The impact is being felt even more on the West Coast, where a lot of pro- duce originates. Through April, domes- tic intermodal volume was down 12.3% out of the Southwest and 18.7% out of the Northwest, according to IANA. JOC email: twitter: @arijashe are Schneider National and Swift Intermodal. There are many shippers who could theoretically use reefer con- tainers on the Mexico-to-Chicago train, which offers a 4.5-day transit time from San Luis Potosi. Mondelez International has a large presence in Mexico and moves confectionary products to the US. There are also thousands of produce loads traveling from Mexico to the US Midwest every week, although most of those loads move on the highways via truckload. Stiff competition Although CPKC would like to convert freight to rail, it also faces fierce competition within the inter- modal space to win that business. Large intermodal provid- ers such as Hub Group and J. B. Hunt Transport Services own

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