Freight News, Rail

Choice Terminal Bulk Transfer Facility Opens in San Diego

[ November 9, 2015   //   ]

The San Diego & Imperial Valley Railroad (SDIV) has opened its Choice Terminal bulk transload facility. Located in SDIV’s San Ysidro rail yard, the new terminal provides bulk transload customers with access to local and international markets via the railroad’s connection with BNSF Railway and the adjacent Tijuana border crossing.
The opening follows the multi-million-dollar expansion of the San Ysidro yard that provides the terminal with 50 railcar transload spots in a paved and fenced facility with an on-site transload contractor.
“This is a rail/truck logistics solution that has been needed in the San Diego market,” says Mike Lewis, co-founder of Pearson Fuels, which is the new terminal’s largest customer. “It allows our company to bring in our product closer to our current customer base, providing them a more consistent, reliable supply and allowing us to grow our business. We continue to look for opportunities to serve other markets, including Mexico.”
The decision to establish a railroad-operated terminal was based on three criteria, according to Jared Gooch, SDIV director of sales and marketing. “First, we had transload requests from a critical mass of customers within 25 miles of the railroad needing access to the North American rail network to grow their businesses, especially in the Mexican market,” Gooch says. “Second was the opportunity to provide customers with cost savings by offering rail service at one centralized terminal rather than at many small ones. And third, the SDIV provides a newly expanded rail yard directly adjacent to the most efficient U.S. border crossing.”
SDIV has received the Jake Award with Distinction, presented by the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association to member railroads with perfect employee safety records, for 16 consecutive years. The company is a subsidiary of Genesee & Wyoming (G&W), which owns or leases 113 short line and regional freight railroads serving 41 states and four Canadian provinces. The new facility serves as a model for future Choice Terminals, to be owned and operated by a local G&W railroad and designed to meet area businesses’ needs for efficient handling and transportation of bulk products, including rail and truck delivery, inventory management and transload services. Choice Terminal locations will complement more than 300 independently owned terminals served by G&W railroads.
“The goal is to help customers within a wider radius of the railroad to utilize rail-served terminals, warehouses or reloads to access new markets and reduce their total transportation costs,” Gooch says.