Intermodal Terminals and Selected Co-Located Logistic Zones Projects in North America

Logistic ZoneAcreageOwnershipNotes
CentrePort Canada20,000PublicRail-airport co-location
Global Transportation Hub3,250Public
CN Calgary Logistics Park580PrivateOpened in 2013
Alliance Texas17,000PrivateOpened in 1994
CenterPoint Intermodal Center – Elmwood2,200Private
CenterPoint Intermodal Center – Joliet3,600PrivateOpened in 2004; BNSF
CenterPoint Intermodal Center – Houston Metro630PrivateOpened in 2011
CenterPoint Intermodal Center – Suffolk921PrivateOpened in 2009
CenterPoint Intermodal Center – Crete1,000PrivateOpened in 2010; CSX
CenterPoint Intermodal Center – Kansas City1,340PrivateKCS
Dallas Logistics Hub6,360Private
Huntsville International Intermodal Center1,470PublicOpened in 1986
Rickenbacker Global Logistics Park1,300PPPOpened in 2008
Raritan Center2,350PrivateRail link planned
Terminal Intermodal Logistica de Hidalgo400PrivateOpened in 2012

The principle of co-location is fundamental to the operational efficiency of an inland port. Several recent logistic zone projects in North America are capitalizing on this advantage. The planning and setting of a new intermodal rail terminal are done concomitantly with a logistics zone project. This partnership fundamentally acts as a filter for the commercial potential of the project as both actors must make the decision to go ahead with their respective capital investments in terminal facilities and commercial real estate. The above table depicts selected recent logistic zone projects that were designed in co-location with a new or renovated intermodal rail facility. Some involve substantial acreage, and it remains to be seen if the allocated land will eventually be fully used.

Co-located logistics zone projects tend to be significantly larger than conventional logistics zones solely serviced by road. The convergence between the need for rail companies to develop large terminals to accommodate economies of scale and the capital intensiveness of these investments has incited partnerships with large commercial real estate developers who have the capital and expertise to develop large logistics zones. CenterPoint Properties, which was acquired in 2006 by a branch of CalPERS (California Public Employees’ Retirement Fund), is a salient example of a commercial developer actively involved with several rail operators in the development and management of logistics zones. While in most cases, CenterPoint will bring forward a project after a terminal development project has been announced, the trend is shifting towards concomitant planning of the intermodal rail terminal and the logistics zone. In one case (Crete, Illinois), CenterPoint decided to develop a logistics zone beforehand, and the rail operator CSX latched on afterward with its National Gateway Program.