Terminal to lure new businesses

While the recent construction of the Norfolk Southern intermodal terminal in nearby Rossville has many Fayette County residents concerned, railroad representatives are working to quell fears by talking up the significant benefits of the facility.

In July, Norfolk Southern opened the first new intermodal terminal as part of its Crescent Corridor project in Rossville. With future expansion, the terminal will include more than 400 acres, with six loading tracks and 2,200 parking spaces.

According to Grant Cothran, national accounts manager for Norfolk Southern, the new terminal is one of the “largest and most innovative” to be built.

“It is a next-generation facility,” said Cothran, who addressed members of the Fayette County Chamber of Commerce last week in Rossville.

Cothran added that a facility of such size will allow the Mid-South to reap similarly large rewards.

“This terminal is going to greatly help the region,” he said.

Cothran said the terminal will lure companies to build their distribution and manufacturing sites in southern Fayette and Shelby counties.

“We have to price ourselves against trucking,” he said. “Someone can deliver something in a truck from one door to another 1,000 miles away. What we say is, take the first 50 miles and the last 50 miles in a truck. We’ll save you so much money on that other 900 miles that it will make since to do it our way.”

Cothran said companies can reduce transportation costs by 10-to-15 percent by building near the intermodal terminal.

“Proximity matters,” he added. “The number of driving miles has the greatest influence on the overall cost. If you can reduce that to 50 miles, or 10, or one, that is massive for a company’s bottom line.”

Look for another story on the Norfolk Southern terminal in next week’s edition.