With the full support of the Canadian and U.S. governments, freight rail continues to encroach on trucking opportunities. In an effort to increase profits at the expense of truckers, the Canadian Pacific Kansas City (CPKC) recently onboarded 1,000 reefer cars to haul loads across the Midwest and as far south as Mexico.
Headquartered in Calgary, Canada, the freight rail outfit plans to augment its Mexico Midwest Express (MMX) Series intermodal service. The move would effectively reduce the number of tractor-trailers moving the same products.
“Since being launched on May 11, MMX has provided truck competitive service, delivering exactly what we promised and executing what many said could not be done,” CPKC senior vice president Jonathan Wahba reportedly said. “We’re providing customers with the fastest transit times in the rail industry and this expansion of our state-of-the-art reefer equipment gives more customers the solution they need to convert to rail.”
According to CPKC, an intermodal train reduces the number of trucks by 300 on average. It also lowers greenhouse gases by upwards of 75 percent, when compared to diesel trucks. Those are reasons why the Biden Administration and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have thrown their full support behind transitioning to EV semis and freight rail. The Biden Administration backed American freight rail infrastructure with $1 billion per year over five years.
“Americans deserve a world-class rail system that allows people and goods to get where they need to go more quickly and affordably, while reducing traffic and pollution on our roads,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg reportedly said. “We’re proud to award these grants to improve passenger rail for riders and strengthen the freight rail that makes our supply chains and our economy work.”
The recently launched MMX temperature-controlled service is expected to transport frozen produce, baked goods, and a wide range of food products from Mexico into the U.S. Shipments originating in the Midwest, traveling toward and into Mexico, will reportedly include beef, chicken, and pork, among others.
The MMX trains effectively link Chicago, Kansas City, areas of Texas, Monterrey and San Luis Potosi. The service provides an estimated transit time of 98 hours from Chicago to San Luis Potosi. According to the railroad, that’s “a day faster than the nearest competitor.”
Officials at CPKC also announced they brokered an intermodal services deal with Schneider and with Knight-Swift Transportation.