How Railroad Intermodal Investments Are Creating Jobs in Kansas.
Edgerton, KS — September marks the beginning of football season, when many of us turn to our televisions — most of which have traveled around the world or across the country before arriving in our living rooms — to cheer on our favorite team. In late August, Amazon.com began operations in its new 822,000-square-foot fulfillment center at Logistics Park Kansas City (LPKC) in Edgerton, Kan., packing and shipping large items like your big-screen TV.
Amazon.com joins a long list of companies that call — or are in the process of calling — LPKC home because of its proximity to BNSF Railway’s $250 million state-of-the-art intermodal facility. As the anchor of the massive, 1,700-acre industrial complex, the 443- acre intermodal facility is spurring economic development and creating thousands of new jobs in a city with just 1,700 people.
“By the end of 2016, LPKC will employ 2,200 people with the expectation of generating a total of 13,000 jobs over the next 10 to 20 years,” said Edgerton City Administrator Beth Linn. “Because transportation costs represent a significant portion of distribution expenses, companies are choosing Edgerton, which boasts the shipping efficiencies and cost savings made possible by BNSF’s investments into its intermodal hub.”
Strategically located about 30 minutes from downtown Kansas City, Edgerton is quickly becoming a global logistics hub in America’s heartland with the rapid development surrounding LPKC.
Companies like DeLong Co., Inc. use the intermodal facility to export grain from the Midwest. ColdPoint Logistics is using BNSF to transport Midwestern food products directly to west coast ports for export. Many additional companies like Flexsteel, Kubota and Triumph Group, Inc. also have a direct connection to the global supply chain because freight railroads have opened Middle America to markets across the world.
Railroads continue to spend heavily to meet the economic demands of shippers and, ultimately, the consumers who purchase products from our local stores or online.
Following the initial growth of LPKC beyond the projections of the city and developers, BNSF continued to invest. In fact, last year the railroad invested more than $180 million in Kansas and part of that money went toward constructing additional track at LPKC. This year BNSF built three additional environmentally friendly cranes, increasing its container lift capacity at the facility by more than 50 percent.
“Freight rail investments into intermodal have been a game changer for Edgerton, contributing to our growing economy and significant role in the freight distribution industry,” Ms. Linn said. “BNSF’s foresight to accommodate future growth demands in freight and intermodal transportation will provide economic opportunities and create new jobs for years to come.”