How TRANSFLO Is Improving the Nation’s Chemicals Supply Chain

Transporting chemicals across the nation from production regions to areas where they’re used in all types of manufacturing and consumer applications is one of the U.S. economy’s most important supply chains — and CSX TRANSFLO is one of its most critical links.

Although shipping chemicals by rail is the safest, most cost-effective and most environmentally friendly way to move chemicals over long distances, many end users are not located on rail lines and therefore require truck deliveries. TRANSFLO solves this supply chain challenge through strategically located terminals — 46 in all — that offload chemicals from tank cars into trucks for “last-mile” deliveries to customers.

TRANSFLO’s effectiveness as a supply chain solution for chemical shippers is illustrated in the busy shipping lane between producers in Texas — where a large portion of the industry is located due to the availability of natural gas used in the manufacturing process — to receivers in northern New Jersey that use the chemicals as inputs for everything from perfume to paint.

One TRANSFLO customer, for example, moves a variety of specialty chemicals it produces at its facilities in the Houston region to the CSX TRANSFLO terminal in Elizabeth, N.J. From there, the chemicals are transloaded into trucks for delivery to a dozen or so non-rail-served receivers within an average distance of 75 miles from the terminal. The chemicals are used in products such as fragrances, paint and coating products, automobile transmission fluids, and agricultural intermediates.

Using TRANSFLO offers chemical producers benefits in addition to the safety and economies of rail. They are able to forward position their product close to customers, which alleviates storage capacity constraints at their manufacturing sites and enables rapid fulfillment of customer orders. In addition, electronic inventory management tools make it easy for customers to monitor and manage their shipments.

Other big beneficiaries from TRANSFLO transloading services are motorists, communities and the environment. The producer cited in the Houston-to-New Jersey example ships 75 carloads a year to the Elizabeth TRANSFLO terminal, which eliminates about 300 long-haul truck trips from the nation’s highways. Rail is also much more fuel efficient than trucks, which translates into lower emissions and a more carbon-friendly supply chain.

Click here to learn more about CSX TRANSFLO and how it is growing its business with the nation’s chemical manufacturers.