Brooks Group Establishes Intermodal Operator

January 10, 2019

SALEM – Oregon Port of Willamette, the proponent of an intermodal facility in Brooks, Oregon has announced the selection of Cordele Intermodal Services, Inc. (CIS) as the operator of the facility.

CIS operates intermodal facilities in Georgia and Florida. It agreed on January 10 with the Oregon Port of Willamette to operate the Brooks intermodal facility.

CIS has existing relationships with ocean carriers including Maersk, Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), CMA-CGM, ZIM, Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM), Ocean Network Express (ONE) and Evergreen. CIS operates with numerous land-based intermodal providers, including Class 1 railroads, short-line railroads and trucking companies.

Oregon has pending a grant award to fund the establishment of an intermodal facility in the Mid-Willamette Valley, and the Oregon Port of Willamette project is one of two finalists in this process. An intermodal facility provides truck to rail and rail to truck service to reduce the use of trucks for longer hauls of freight on highways.

Kevin Mannix, Executive Director of the Oregon Port of Willamette, stated “I am very pleased to officially announce that CIS has agreed to operate the Oregon Port of Willamette intermodal facility at Brooks. This partnership will allow Oregon Port of Willamette to proceed swiftly to develop customer focused intermodal services in the Mid-Willamette Valley utilizing the industry specific expertise of CIS”

Jonathan Lafevers, President and Chief Commercial Officer of Cordele Intermodal Services, Inc., stated: “CIS is excited to have agreed to operate the Oregon Port of Willamette intermodal facility and is confident that this strategic partnership will generate a successful and sustainable intermodal service. CIS has successfully established and provided intermodal services for agricultural producers in the Southeast region of the United States and looks forward to

developing successful intermodal services for agricultural producers exporting from Oregon’s Willamette Valley.”

CIS will be responsible for operating the Brooks intermodal service, negotiating rates and service details with railroads and ocean carriers, and offering intermodal service to customers.

Mannix noted that “CIS has a modern, creative approach to intermodal operations which goes well beyond outmoded approaches still followed by some intermodal facilities.”

“This approach rejects the idea that intermodal facilities require ongoing subsidies, including subsidies by maritime shipping lines, to be successful. The CIS approach includes marketing the shipping capability of the maritime shipping lines in exchange for the freedom to make use of their inbound equipment (empty containers after import delivery) to provide matchback service,” said Mannix.

Lafevers added, “The bottom line for the maritime shipping lines is that they can enhance market share by working with the intermodal facility and the intermodal facility is able to provide export capability (empty containers) for its customers.”

“This is very important for our farmers in the Willamette Valley because we are a net export state and the availability of empty shipping containers can be challenging,” said Mannix.

Lafevers came to Oregon for several days to evaluate the proposed Brooks facility. “I was so impressed with the quality of the proposal by the Oregon Port of Willamette group that I have now personally invested in the company and I am committed to making sure CIS provides the Brooks facility with a first class intermodal operation,” said Lafevers.

CIS opened its first intermodal facility in Georgia. The Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) issued a strong letter of recommendation on behalf of CIS. In that letter, John Trent, Senior Director of Strategic Operations and Safety for the Georgia Ports Authority, stated:

“CIS specifically developed their facility to help South Georgia and lower Alabama exporters more efficiently and cost-effectively get their products to market. The benefits have been staggering and over the years millions of tons of regionally grown Ag products have been exported from our Garden City Terminal via the CIS facility in Cordele, Georgia.”

Trent added: “We are confident that CIS will be a strong strategic partner to the State of Oregon and the exporters of the Willamette Valley. CIS will bring expertise and experience to any project they are associated with. We value our relationship with them and look forward to many successful years to come.”