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Transplace Business Units: Opportunity Abounds with Celtic Intermodal

Posted - September 30, 2014

Transplace Business Units: Opportunity Abounds with Celtic Intermodal

By Steve Golich, President, Celtic International

To define it simply, “intermodal” is the combination of more than one mode of transportation, a method of shipping that has been in practice since 1961. However, for many in the transportation industry, intermodal is still a concept that hasn’t been fully explored.

A few months ago, Transplace partner Celtic International revealed some exciting news – the rollout of Celtic Rail Direct, a collaborative venture with Transplace’s Mexico operations. A door-to-door, seamless double-stack container service that connects all three North American countries; Celtic Rail Direct provides service between U.S., Canadian and Mexican markets in and near Monterrey, San Louis Potosi and Mexico City.

But why all of the excitement about these opportunities in Mexico?  Some are calling cross-border the “last frontier for intermodal” – there’s an element of the “unknown” to intermodal transportation between the US and Mexico, and all of that untapped potential is certainly intriguing.

Things have also changed quite dramatically for intermodal in recent years. For example, the railroad industry continues to spend significant funding toward infrastructure updates, striving for improvements. It’s now faster to get from Chicago to Los Angeles by train than with a single truck driver.

Some of the other benefits of intermodal for shippers include:

  • Elimination of border congestion, delays, inspections – all non-value activities
  • Reliable, predictable and competitive transit times
  • Transportation and fuel savings
  • Cash flow benefit inventory in transit vs. sitting on a truck or border warehouse
  • Elimination of mishandling and damage oftentimes associated with trans-loading
  • Environmental friendliness and sustainability

Celtic is also a priority partner with all of the Class-1 railroads, enabling them to utilize those relationships and offer complete door-to-door tracking and tracing. Many shippers may have experienced the anguish associated with having a load pulled off at a border crossing to await custom’s inspection approval, but with Celtic Rail Direct, there are no stops at the border!

Opportunity abounds with cross-border intermodal transportation, and since Mexico is the “last frontier” of potential opportunity in North America, we are front and center.

What key areas or benefits of intermodal service are the most exciting to your organization?

Read more about intermodal opportunities in Mexico here or watch Steve’s in-depth explanation of Celtic’s recent intermodal ventures at the recent Shipper Symposium in this video.