Union Pacific has acquired Railex LLC’s refrigerated and cold storage assets, including Wallula’s warehouse and supporting equipment.
The deal, announced Jan. 3., includes two other Railex properties in Delano, California, and Rotterdam, New York. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
Railex, a refrigerated rail service and third-party logistics intermodal transportation company, plays a key role in Union Pacific’s food network, transporting fruits, vegetables and other temperature-sensitive cargo across the United States, according to a Union Pacific release.
“The Railex team developed a fantastic business changing how fresh food arrives on America’s tables, offering food shippers fast, reliable door-to-door rail-based transportation solutions,” said Brad Thrasher, Union Pacific vice president and general manager — agricultural products, in a release. “The integration of their highly efficient cross dock facilities and logistics capabilities into Union Pacific’s broader food network allows us to offer our customers increased access to a wider range of capacity and service solutions in a rail-centric cold chain.”
Union Pacific food trains already directly serve Railex’s Wallula and Delano facilities. Wallula’s Railex has two miles of loop track on its property along with 38 refrigerated truck docks and 19 enclosed refrigerated rail docks, as well as 225,000 square feet of refrigerated space.
The railroad’s food train network provides service from the area to the Midwest consumer base via Chicago and further into the Northeast region via the CSX Corp. transportation network.
Railex will continue managing its facilities during the transition and integration of its operations with Union Pacific.
Railex and Union Pacific officials declined to comment on details of the acquisition, including questions about cost, personnel and timelines.
The acquisition does not include Railex Wine Services LLC, which is building a $10 million, 260,000-square-foot expansion in Wallula, about 25 miles east of the Tri-Cities off Highway 12 in Walla Walla County.
Railex Wine Services was founded in 2012 as a wine storage, distribution and logistics platform that provides wineries and distributors across the United States with the latest technology to manage their storage and shipping needs. Ste. Michelle Wine Estates dominates the majority of its business.
The expansion is scheduled to be completed and opened in spring 2017.
Union Pacific connects 23 states in the western two-thirds of the country by rail. It operates more than 15,000 food product boxcars, 5,200 refrigerated boxcars and 3,900 food grade covered hoppers, according to its website.
The railroad transports a diverse mix of items, including agricultural products, automotive, chemicals, coal, industrial products and intermodal. It serves about 10,000 customers.
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