CSX invest $26m in expansion of the River Line
Rail freight specialists CSX have announced a major track capacity expansion for 2013, with a new $26 million project to expand the River Line between New Jersey and Albany.
The project, which is slated to begin early this year, will add a second track totaling 18 miles over the next two to three years, allowing for additional capacity on the Hudson River’s west shore.
Preliminary work to prepare the sites in New York State is already complete, according to CSX, which is currently completing projects on terminals and other network capacity improvements to prepare long term growth, with complementary capacity improvements planning for the construction of the national gateway to allow for double-stacked containers.
“It’s critically important that we be prepared to meet our customer’s needs as they grow,” said Clarence Gooden, executive vice president and chief commercial officer. “The River Line is a key lane for growth and will further contribute to economic development as well as environmental benefits through CSX’s terrific fuel efficiency.”
Last expanded in 2005, the River Line has experienced consistent growth in rail traffic on the line over the last several years and CSX claim that growth projections now warrant additional investment to further increase the corridor’s capacity.
“We continually model our growth projections to ensure that we are fully leveraging our network capacity,” said Oscar Munoz, executive vice president and chief operating officer. “Today, we have sufficient capacity for our near-term growth projections, and the capacity expansion initiatives will ensure we’re prepared for additional demand for our services. Demand for crude oil, for example, in the New Jersey and Philadelphia area may be as much as five trains per day, or over 400,000 barrels, over the next couple of years. Our capacity initiatives give us the capability to handle this growth along with business opportunities in our merchandise, automotive and intermodal sectors.”
The River Line is part of CSX’s premier I-90 corridor that connects Chicago with New York, northern New Jersey, and the Philadelphia areas, and supports some of the network’s highest velocity and volumes – much like when it existed as the centerpiece of the predecessor New York Central System.
DHL Claim Multi-Sector Collaboration Key to Fighting COVID
Since January, global logistics leader DHL has distributed more than 200 million doses of the COVID vaccine to 120+ countries around the globe. While the US and UK recently rolled out immunisation plans to most citizens, countries with less developed infrastructure still desperately need more doses. In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which currently has one of the highest per-capita immunisation rates, the government set up storage facilities to cover domestic and international demand. But storage, as we’ve learned, is little help if you can’t transport the goods.
This is where logistics leaders such as DHL make their impact. The company built over 50 new partnerships, bilateral and multilateral, to collaborate with pharmaceutical and private sector firms. With more than 350 DHL centres pressed into service, the group operated 9,000+ flights to ship the vaccine where it needed to go.
With new pandemic knowledge, DHL just released its “Revisiting Pandemic Resilience” white paper, which examined the role of logistics and supply chain companies in handling COVID-19. As Thomas Ellman, Head of Clinical Trials Logistics at DHL, said: “The past one year has highlighted the importance of logistics and supply chain management to manage the pandemic, ensure business continuity and protect public health. It has also shown us that together we are stronger”.
Multisector partnerships, DHL said, enabled rapid, effective vaccine distribution. While international scientists developed a vaccine in record time—five times faster than any other vaccine in history—manufacturers ramped up production and logistics teams rolled out distribution three times faster than expected. When commercial routes faced backups, logistics operators worked with military officers to transport vaccines via helicopters and boats.
In the UAE, the public-private HOPE Consortium distributed billions of COVID-19 doses to its civilians as well as other countries in need by partnering with commercial organisations such as DHL. For the first time, apropo for an unprecedented pandemic, logistics companies made strong connections with public health and government.
“While the race against the virus continues, leveraging the power of such collaborations and data analytics will be key”, said Katja Busch, Chief Commercial Officer DHL and Head of DHL Customer Solutions & Innovation. “We need to remain prepared for high patient and vaccine volumes, maintain logistics infrastructure and capacity, while planning for seasonal fluctuations by providing a stable and well-equipped platform for the years to come”.
How Do We Sustain Immunisation?
By the end of 2021, experts estimate that we need approximately 10 billion doses of vaccines—many of which will be shipped to areas of the world, such as India, South Africa, and Brazil, that lack significant infrastructure. This is perhaps the greatest divide between countries that have rolled out successful immunisation programmes and those that have not. As Busch noted, “the UAE’s significant investments in creating robust air, sea, and land infrastructure facilitated logistics and vaccine distribution, helping us keep supply chains resilient”.
Neither is the novel coronavirus a one-time affair. If predictions hold, COVID will be similar to seasonal colds or the flu: here to stay. When fall comes around each year, governments will need to vaccinate the world as quickly as possible to ensure long-term immunisation against the virus. This time, logistics companies must be better prepared.
Yet global immunisation, year after year, is no small order. To keep reinfection rates low and slow the spread of COVID, governments will likely need 7-9 billion annual doses of the vaccine to meet that mark. And if DHL’s white paper is any judge of success, multi-sector supply chain partnerships will set the gold standard.