Maersk-BNSF offer slow ships and fast trains from LA to US Midwest

2012 03 09

MAERSK Line and the Burlington Northern Sante Fe Railroad (BNSF) have agreed to a 95 per cent on-time delivery scheme called Flagship for US-bound Asian cargo via Los Angeles to Chicago, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, and as far east as Tennessee and Ohio.

Under the deal, Flagship will provide dedicated, non-stop BNSF rail service that arrives at an agreed time. Affected loops will be the TP5, TP6 and TP8, which will result in major changes to alliance agreements, reports London's Containerisation International. Flagship appears to be the transpacific extension of the "conveyor belt" concept of the shipping line's Daily Maersk Asia-Europe service launched last September.

"By ensuring on-time delivery, Maersk becomes an extension of a customer's production line to increase supply chain efficiencies, improve inventory management, and help move products to market as planned," said a statement from the Danish shipping giant.

"Flagship trains bypass connecting points along the route allowing us to give an unmatched velocity," said Maersk, which also recently announced and extension of its fuel-saving slow steaming programme.

But Maersk spokesman Timothy O'Connell cautioned: "Speed is not the essence of this service - being on-time is. Absolute reliability is not about being faster. It's about being reliable."

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

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