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Port of Tampa signs agreement for express rail service to Midwest market

The Tampa Port Authority announced the signing of a letter of intent with Green Express for the development of an on-dock transload and rail-served facility connecting the Port of Tampa to the Midwest market region.

The Green Express platform provides a sustainable logistics solution for perishable products combining speed, reliability and available capacity to control and optimize long-haul transportation. This results in optimized food quality, improving product freshness that converts into more sales, less waste and higher margins for growers, processors and retailers.

The new GX express service is operated by CSX Transportation, which will provide two dedicated express trains per week, connecting Tampa and the Chicago-Kingsbury, IN, area in just 56 hours.

The GX train will serve a mix of refrigerated and dry products, offering efficiencies to the food and agricultural industry in Florida and the Midwest markets, as well as providing ocean carriers serving these markets with a more efficient option.

The Green Express service presents new efficiencies to international shippers and domestic retailers, as well as exporters that require fast, efficient supply chain solutions for their operations. This service exemplifies the phrase "fast to market," that all retailers and distributors require.

"We are proud to be part of this great initiative, together with the Green Express group and CSX Transportation," Paul Anderson, president and chief executive officer of the Tampa Port Authority, said in a press release. "This service supports our efforts to make the Port of Tampa a major gateway for the Florida market and beyond."

"CSX is proud to support the trend toward more rail shipments of fresh produce by offering a creative and flexible pipeline from the farm to the table," Belinda Hess, director of marketing for Food & Consumer at CSX Transportation, added in the press release. "We also appreciate the strong relationships, intense focus and blended expertise by everyone working on this important supply chain solution, which meets the needs of our customers and ultimately those of the consumers."

Iowa Pacific Holdings operates nine short line railroads throughout the United States, and operates a fleet of refrigerated boxcars in perishable food service across the country.

"Iowa Pacific is pleased to join with the Port of Tampa in contributing refrigerated boxcars to this unique and innovative Green Express perishable food products train service," Iowa Pacific Holdings President Ed Ellis added in the press release.