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Home Services New North Baltimore rail service builds on NWSA’s intermodal growth

New North Baltimore rail service builds on NWSA’s intermodal growth

The Northwest Seaport Alliance (NWSA) has announced the addition of new direct rail service between the Pacific Northwest and the greater Northwest Ohio region by BNSF Railway.

The new North Baltimore service began in June 2020 and has already received positive marks from BCOs that rely on the NWSA, according to a statement.

US-sized 53ft containers on the new route arrive at a large intermodal facility in North Baltimore, Ohio, with easy access to other cities in the state, including Toledo, Columbus, Cleveland and Cincinnati, as well as Detroit, Pittsburgh and Louisville, Kentucky, explained the NWSA.

The growing NWSA freight volumes headed to the Midwest also opens the potential for shipments of international containers transferred directly from ships to on-dock rail in the future.

New 53ft domestic service to North Baltimore, Ohio


AvailableCutoff timeTrip time
Wednesday – Sunday10 a.m.163 hours


AvailableCutoff timeTrip time
Sunday – Thursday8 p.m.167 hours

Thus, NWSA will enhance its Asia-US network, in which it provides a critical link in the intermodal supply chain. "When most imported goods arrive in Puget Sound after weeks at sea, their voyage is far from over," said NWSA in its announcement and added that "roughly 70% of the cargo that flows through The Northwest Seaport Alliance travels onward by rail to stock store shelves across the Midwest."

The new route’s success reflects the ongoing growth of transload shipments originating at the NWSA, according to Mike Reilly, the NWSA’s director of intermodal business development, who went on to say, "The Seattle-Tacoma region is strongly positioned for this business, with the second largest concentration of warehousing on the West Coast, as well as more than 125 transload facilities within 15 miles of NWSA marine terminals."

Among them, BNSF’s South Seattle Intermodal Facility in Tukwila had a solid year in 2019, with more than 203,000 container movements. Its 170 employees plus 100 contractors and vendors manage 16 outbound trains each week destined for Chicago, West Coast destinations and cities throughout the country.

The NWSA forecasts that the dramatic increase in e-commerce, along with ocean carriers’ increasing focus on port-to-port services, will expand demand in Tukwila and among the NWSA’s other intermodal partners.

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