Intermodal facility thriving, on path to attract new business

by: Scott Wickersham Updated:


CHARLOTTE - Norfolk Southern says intermodal transportation – from trucks to trains – is a booming business.

Their facility at the airport opened in December. In the few months it has been open, the facility has proven to be a vital part of their east coast operation.

Railroad leaders will attract new businesses that want to be close to the facility because it will save them money.

“More than fifty percent of global apply chain costs are on transportation; that’s more than real estate or property taxes,” said Grant Cothran with Northern Southern.

At a time when cross-country truckers face restrictions on their hours behind the wheel, and increased fuel prices, the railroad thinks letting trains do the long hauling makes more sense.

The yard is already busy – on pace to move 160,000 containers in its first year. This puts Charlotte at the center of a growing business for Norfolk Southern.

In 1995, intermodal transport accounted for just eight percent of the company’s total freight. In 2013, it’s jumped to almost half.
“Distribution centers, warehouses – that will be attracted to this facility,” said Carroll Neville with Norfolk Southern.

Charles Wilkerson has a printing and design company in Steele Creek, and thinks those new companies could hire him.

“I will get trickle down, you could say, from the other companies,” Wilkerson said.

Since the company is nestled in an industrial area there is plenty of room for new businesses to build close by. City leaders are counting on that, estimating that by 2030 this facility may create 7,000 new jobs.