Targeting the plastics industry has earned CSX Transportation Inc. of Jacksonville, Fla., some new customers. Back in May, CSX launched its Partners for Growth program to encourage plastics companies to expand and relocate along newly acquired track in the Northeast and the Midwest. It was part of the company's acquisition of Conrail Inc. property.
Four plastics companies have signed on, and CSX is working with 10 others, according to David Hemphill, CSX assistant vice president for industrial and economic development.
"We figure it is a success and will bring in $500,000 of new business. We would like to bring in six or seven more" of the 10 other companies, he said.
Among those signing on are Ampacet Corp. of Tarrytown, N.Y., which added a rail spur to its plant in Terre Haute, Ind., and RJM Plastics LLC in Millerton, N.Y., which located on a short line connected to CSX. A third, undisclosed company is setting up shop in a building on the established line in New York.
Cary Compounds LLC of Dayton, N.J., signed on as a customer after locating on the line. It operates a PVC compounding facility to serve the wire and cable industry.
Charlie Cary, vice president of sales, said Cary Compounds opened its 80,000-square-foot facility about six months ago. It has 17 employees and annual capacity of 75 million pounds a year.
"When we went looking for a building, we had to look for a rail siding," he said. "[CSX] did work with us to make sure it was suitable."
Cary said the rail saves money, cuts labor and improves efficiency.
"It also gives you storage, instead of receiving a bulk truck daily. The convenience is a big part," Cary added.
Hemphill said companies using resin in bulk can save 2-5 cents a pound. CSX estimates that a rail car carries the same amount of resin as four standard truckloads.
CSX helps customers work out the logistics, Hemphill said.
"We put them in contact with the right people," Hemphill said. "We don't own a lot of real estate, but we work with the property owners for our kind of customers. We spend a lot of time and resources to make sure our site files are up to date," Hemphill said.
CSX also offers CSX TransFlo, an integrated network of rail-to-truck loading facilities to reach areas not served by rail.
The company operates along 22,700 miles of track in 23 states, the District of Columbia and two Canadian provinces.