A cooperative agreement between BNSF and Kansas City Southern has resulted in the launch of a new cross-border intermodal service. This joint initiative originated in result of rival Union Pacific Railroad’s own cross-border network.
BNSF and KCS revealed their plan to launch a five-days-a-week service connecting the BNSF Chicago and Dallas/Fort Worth markets to the KCS consumer and industrial regions on the Southern de México network.
The new service is focused on transporting foods, beverages, appliances and other cross-border deliverables. This stemming from KCS acknowledgement that Union Pacific had won over market share competition last year with its own cross-border initiative.
The Northbound end of the BNSF-KCS service will operate from Toluca, San Luis Potosí, or Monterrey, Mexico, to Dallas/Fort Worth or Chicago, where the two lines will meet. The Southbound service will then from Chicago or Dallas/Fort Worth to Laredo, Texas, or to Monterrey, San Luis Potosí, or Toluca, Mexico.
Users of the service will be able to connect with existing BNSF regions from Dallas/Fort Worth or Chicago locations, as well as the option to connect to railroads that reach northeastern tracks and Canadian markets.
Katie Farmer, vice president of consumer products at BNSF, stated, “These new services leverage our strong intermodal product and KCS’ expertise south of the border to enhance customers’ supply chain efficiency into and out of Mexico.”
The new service promises competitive “truck-like” intermodal transit times. Basis of this claim is derived from the intermodal rail shipments; entities using this line will not have to stop at the border for clearance from customs. Rather, the shipments, traveling in-bond, will be able to clear customs at Mexican origins and final destinations.
This new service unveils during a tumultuous time for trade between the US and Mexico. With the new administration taking office, President-elect Trump made his opinion clear about a reexamination of North America Free Trade Agreement during the infancy of his presidential tenure.