"From an industrial development standpoint, an intermodal standpoint, we see the Houston-Dallas-San Antonio-Austin markets really being exciting places for growth."

Posted By Staff Writers On April 7, 2021 @ 8:58 am


The Intermodal Association of North America (IANA) featured CenterPoint’s Senior Vice President of Development, Brian McKiernan, in an article in Intermodal Insights.

Read what Brian said about the long-term logistical advantages and cost savings CenterPoint Intermodal Centers offer users in the feature story “Intermodal Growth Opportunities Beckon in Current, New Markets.”

Intermodal continues to have a wide variety of growth opportunities, both by actively pursuing new markets and adding new business on existing routes.

In interviews with Intermodal Insights and on an IANA webinar, experts expressed optimism that annual traffic volume growth is expected to return this year, continuing the second-half surge in 2020.

the IANA “Inside the Numbers” webinar, TTX noted it is expecting 7.3% growth in international containers, and 4.7% more domestic shipments to create an overall increase of about 6%, in an environment where economic conditions improve, COVID impacts are reduced and eventually eliminated.

In addition, experts speaking on the webinar cited longstanding advantages arising from restrictions on the truck driver supply that will help intermodal. Intermodal’s environmental advantages offer tantalizing opportunities, too. “This is THE Time to chase the sustainability benefit,” said Libby Ogard, president of Prime Focus LLC.

“Railroads could take more advantage of this aspect. I expect we will see the Biden Administration focus on the environment. This is the opening the railroads need to take share from trucks.”

Officials at BNSF Railway, Union Pacific and Kansas City Southern are optimistic about growth prospects for both existing and new markets. The upbeat industry outlook is tinged with realism based on experience.

Inland Ports, Other Opportunities

Brian McKiernan, senior vice president of development for CenterPoint’s central region, said closely linking intermodal and distribution facilities such as those the company operates in northern Illinois create an attractive combination.

“We are seeing industrial development and intermodal as an exciting place to be,” he said, as shippers increasingly see intermodal as a stable and growing business that supports their supply chain needs.

“Primarily, we are an industrial real estate company,” he said. “We want our properties to have a long-term logistical advantage.” South Carolina Ports Authority’s inland facility at Greer is one place where CenterPoint’s distribution capabilities work successfully with intermodal service, he said.

There also are other inland port opportunities, with enough demand for imports and/or exports, anchored by one of two BCOs, he added, citing Nevada, Arizona and Gulf Coast locations.

“In places like New Jersey and Los Angeles, warehouse space is becoming more and more critical,” McKiernan said. “It is difficult to build because of population density, permitting and the expensive cost to operate there. If you have scale and can get closer to where goods are distributed, there is a cost advantage.”

Read the full article.

About CenterPoint Properties: 

CenterPoint is an industrial real estate company made up of dedicated thinkers, innovators, and leaders with the creativity and know-how to tackle the industry’s toughest challenges. And it’s those kinds of problems—the delicate, the complex, the seemingly-impossible—that we relish most. Because with an agile team, substantial access to capital, and industry-leading expertise, those are exactly the kinds of problems we’re built to solve. For more information on CenterPoint Properties, visit centerpoint.comfollow @centerpointprop on Twitter or engage with us on LinkedIn.