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CPKC now offering daily intermodal service between Midwest, Mexico

Canadian Pacific Kansas City is now offering a daily premium intermodal service running between the U.S. Midwest and Mexico.

This latest offering, which CPKC (NYSE: CP) says will be “the first truck-competitive, single-line rail service option between the Midwest and Mexico,” comes as competing Class I railroads aim to bolster their own transcontinental offerings. Late last month, rival CN (NYSE: CNI) announced it, Union Pacific (NYSE: UNP) and Mexico railway Ferromex would be offering a transcontinental intermodal service. CN has also said it is partnering with maritime and logistics services company Crowley to provide integrated rail and ocean service between Mexico and the U.S. Midwest and Canada via the Port of Mobile in Alabama.

“The Mexico Midwest Express offers truly best-in-class service and represents the growth potential of providing truck-competitive service and reliable rail transportation options for shippers with the newly-combined CPKC,” CPKC President and CEO Keith Creel said in a Thursday news release. “This is a game changer for this essential north-south trade corridor. Customers already are signing up for these new options as we compete hard to grow our business.”  

According to CPKC, the new intermodal service debuted Thursday, with trains MMX-180 and MMX-181 linking Chicago, Kansas City and Texas with Monterrey and San Luis Potosi in oMexico. There is three-day service to and from Laredo, Texas; four-day service to and from Monterrey; and 4.5-day service to and from San Luis Potosi. CP says the transit time between Chicago and San Luis Potosi is 98 hours and “a day faster than the nearest competitor.”

CP also said there has been dedicated intermodal service between Lázaro Cardenas, Mexico, and Chicago to show proof of consent on an interline basis. This service has been running since March 2022. 

In April, CPKC snagged multiyear agreements with Schneider (NYSE: SNDR) and Knight-Swift (NYSE: KNX) to bolster intermodal service between the three countries. Schneider said it will serve as a strategic carrier on the intermodal line that connects Chicago to major ports and regions in Mexico, while Knight-Swift said it will provide truckload capacity for a Mexico-to-Chicago cross-border train.

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