Letters: Cars On Barge
Loved your story about cars-on-barge cargo, and the great picture (Old Boat Column, WJ, March 1). Towing companies need to learn about the new Kia auto factory in Monterrey, Mexico, just 180 miles from the Gulf Intracoastal Canal at Brownsville. Kia and others are railing millions of new cars every year to the USA’s East Coast markets. This long-haul rail freight is expensive, as railroads must interline with several different carriers, and because there is no backhaul for these specialized rail cars. Unlike a barge, which has space to store collapsable car racks, and make room for other Mexico bound cargoes.
The long-haul, across-different-railroads territory is the key to profitability for inland barge cargoes. And Brownsville to Pittsburgh is one of the longest hauls possible on our inland system. But certainly far shorter than Asia to the USA for ships. That’s why so many auto manufacturers like Korean-owned Kia have moved to Mexico.