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Winter Haven Intermodal Logistics Center Opens Next Week

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

CSX’s Winter Haven Intermodal Logistics Center will be a major boon to logistics companies like CWI Logistics – both in Central Florida and statewide. Offering more reliability, flexibility, less environmental impact and lower costs, intermodal transportation is becoming increasingly popular among shippers.

Polk County’s most talked about industrial development project is set to open on April 2. Close to Lake Wales, it’s located near State Road 60 and Old Bartow Lake Wales Road. The new facility will span 315 acres with more than 900 adjacent acres slated for use as a mega distribution facility for Fortune 500 companies.

Construction was finally completed around mid-February. The terminal features three 3,100-foot rail lines and contains three massive, rail-mounted gantry cranes that will be used to move containers from CSX trains directly onto trucks, and vice versa.

It’s been heralded as one of the most technologically-advanced intermodal terminals in the United States. Sophisticated computer systems will automatically optimize the cranes’ movements, eliminating any unnecessary intermediate steps. It’s estimated that the cranes will be able to handle more than 300,000 intermodal containers each year.

Locating the new terminal in Winter Haven, along Florida’s I-4 corridor, is yet another step towards a more logistics-driven future for the state. Additionally, with the upcoming expansion of the Panama Canal, the U.S. East Coast should expect to see a significant increase in container traffic (about 50% of what is currently going to the West Coast).

Although the additional train traffic that would run through Downtown Lakeland has been the source of some community controversy, the new terminal is great news not only for the logistics industry, but for Central Florida’s economy as a whole. According to HDR Engineering Inc, the new center could create as much as $10 billion in economic impact over the next decade.

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