- Two major rail lines have recently announced plans to offer direct-to-dock services for resin shipments from Texas to Asia, reflecting an expected rise in production capacity, Plastic News reports.
- BNSF Railway, Hillwood Development and Packwell will build a 500,000 square-foot resin shipping center in Fort Worth, TX. Meanwhile, competitor rail line Union Pacific is partnering with shipper Katoen Natie to develop a resin shipping center of similar size in Dallas, TX.
- New discoveries of natural gas in the Gulf Coast region will likely increase the production capacity of resins like polyethylene and ethane, spurring the demand for new distribution centers.
Direct-to-dock shipping services allow producers to export goods at lower costs by using a single logistics service for their goods to travel. Railroad lines like BNSF and Union Pacific partner with shippers and other intermodal carriers to offer the select service.
A key part of the service, however, is building a shipping center that will package the finished product into intermodal containers for rail and ocean travel. Yet despite the access and cost benefits, the transportation model is often ineffective for smaller producers who ship in less-than-railcar volumes.
Nonetheless, Plastic News reports the additional access points may indirectly benefit even small shippers, given the country's aging infrastructure.