CSX North Baltimore Terminal Takes on New Role as Intermodal Block Swapping Facility

CSX North Baltimore Terminal Takes on New Role as Intermodal Block Swapping Facility

March 2, 2018

The Northwest Ohio Intermodal Terminal will continue in operation, although as a block-swapping facility for Chicago interchange traffic and serving local intermodal traffic.

The terminal, which opened in 2011, had been built to serve as the centerpiece of a hub-and-spoke network designed to grow traffic in what had been low-density markets.

But CSX decided last year that it was difficult to make money in low-volume intermodal lanes because it meant containers were being handled at origin, at the hub-sorting terminal in North Baltimore, Ohio; and then at the destination.

CSX executives said this added cost, transit time and delays, particularly when trains had to travel on roundabout routes to reach the terminal.

Closing the North Baltimore terminal and ending the hub and spoke model cost CSX 7 percent of its intermodal traffic.

But CSX’s Dean Piacente, vice president of intermodal marketing and sale, said that the carrier has already replaced that lost traffic with more profitable business in higher-volume lanes.

But North Baltimore has taken on a new role of a block-swapping facility for intermodal traffic.

That began last week when CSX and an unnamed Western railroad began forwarding run-through eastbound intermodal traffic from Chicago to North Baltimore, where it is block-swapped for destinations on the CSX system.

Piacente said this will free capacity in Chicago and cut 24 to 48 hours from coast-to-coast transit times. Westbound block swapping will begin soon.

from Akron Railroad Club blog

President: Craig Sanders

[email protected]