Posted: Oct 14 2020
MINOT, ND – Minot Area Development Corporation was joined by numerous partners to announce Rail Modal Group (RMG) Minot as the operator for intermodal rail service in North Dakota. This is an opportunity for intermodal service which allows producers and processors to load containers in Minot and ship them by rail to the ports for international destinations. The RMG facility will be served by BNSF Railway. For years, Minot has tried to identify partners willing to place containers in Minot, and RMG has made that commitment.

RMG has developed a network of privately operated intermodal facilities providing services to inland containerized export shippers. In cooperation with BNSF Railway, RMG currently operates two other intermodal ramps located in Fremont, Nebraska and Amarillo, Texas. Multiple ocean carriers reposition trainloads of empty containers from surplus locations in Chicago Illinois, Memphis Tennessee, Dallas Texas, and other origins offering extensive export capacity.

“RMG is proud to support the producers and shippers throughout North Dakota and surrounding areas to provide international export capacity through our newly developed Port of Minot. Container source loading creates a vertical logistic solution that reduces transportation costs, reduces carbon footprint, and develops sustainable long-term International supply chains. All of these factors support growth for jobs and market expansion, while improving environmental impacts within the local and regional markets served by this asset,” said RMG President/CEO Greg Oberting. “Our partnership with BNSF continues to grow with this opportunity to develop intermodal solutions for Minot.”
The state has been working to gain access to intermodal service to reduce shipping costs for the state’s agricultural producers and other industries for nearly two decades. “This game-changing intermodal service will give North Dakota producers and processors much-needed access to competitively priced transportation, promoting the growth and diversification of our economy,” Governor Burgum shared. “We’re grateful for the many partners at the local, state and federal level whose hard work and determination kept this effort on track and brought this critical service to our state."
Amy McBeth, BNSF Regional AVP Public Affairs added, “Rail transportation has always been integral to the Minot and state economies, and this new intermodal facility expands rail service even further. In addition to the intermodal facility, Minot hosts the only BNSF Certified Site in the state. The designation by BNSF identifies rail-served industrial sites that have met stringent readiness standards intended to reduce development time and risk for companies seeking rail-served sites.”
Minot’s facility will provide service to The Northwest Seaport Alliance with on-dock trains to terminals in Seattle and Tacoma. Representatives from the Northwest Seaport Alliance highlighted the importance of the North Dakota intermodal operations. “This new rail service means lower costs for our export customers in the Great Plains shipping valuable agricultural commodities through our gateway,” said Peter Steinbrueck, Port of Seattle commission president and co-chair of The Northwest Seaport Alliance. “In the Puget Sound region, this service also supports new, additional cargo, which will help grow our market share and support more family-wage jobs.”
“As one of the top agricultural export gateways in North America, The Northwest Seaport Alliance congratulates BNSF Railway, Rail Modal Group, the Minot Area Development Corporation, the City of Minot, and the State of North Dakota for their creative partnership in supporting the U.S. agricultural exports,” said John McCarthy, Port of Tacoma commission president and co-chair of The Northwest Seaport Alliance. “As our nation recovers from the global pandemic, this is a great example of how ports and agricultural sectors drive economic growth.”
Minot Mayor Shaun Sipma and Minot leaders focused in on the collaboration between all involved with bringing intermodal to North Dakota, including a thank you to the North Dakota congressional delegation, Governor Doug Burgum, legislators from across the state, the North Dakota Trade Office, the state departments of Commerce, Transportation and Agriculture, private industry, BNSF and the Northwest Seaport Alliance. Mayor Sipma also highlighted businesses who have selected the Minot Area as their home for operations. An anchor tenant to the MADC industrial park is AGT Foods. AGT Foods is one of the largest suppliers of value-added pulses, staple foods and food ingredients in the world and has been operating a facility in Minot, North Dakota since 2013. Eric Bartsch, Division Head Global Food Ingredients said, “AGT is excited for the intermodal service operations in Minot. Minot is a regional location that has served us well and the addition of intermodal service is a game-changer for producers opening up access to global markets.”
The first intermodal containers for the site arrived in Minot Tuesday, October 13 and are scheduled to make their way toward The Northwest Seaport Alliance in Washington state. Once the train arrives at the Port of Seattle, The Northwest Seaport Alliance will hold a press event and share more details on how this intermodal service provides access to the global market. The Northwest Seaport Alliance is a marine cargo operating partnership of the ports of Seattle and Tacoma.

For more information, contact John MacMartin, MADC President/CEO, at 701.852.1075 or jhauge@minotusa.com.

For media inquiries, contact Beth Feldner at 701.648.9780 or bfeldner@odney.com.