CG Railway Launches New Rail Ferry

CG Railway (CGR) today announced the launch of the first of two new rail ferries. Part of a joint venture between subsidiaries of Genesee & Wyoming Inc. (G&W) and SEACOR Holdings Inc. (NYSE: CKH), CGR operates a U.S. Class III freight railroad transporting approximately 10,000 annual carloads of diversified commodities across the Gulf of Mexico.

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The newly launched vessel is expected to begin operations in the second quarter of 2021, with the second new vessel expected in the third quarter. They will replace CGR’s two existing vessels, which have transported over 200,000 railcars in more than 1,400 sailings between Mobile, Alabama, and Coatzacoalcos, Mexico, since 2001. The trip across the Gulf currently takes approximately five days, or half the time required for the overland route. The new, 590-foot-long ferries are designed to carry 135 railcars each, up from 115 railcars on the existing ferries, with an expected top speed of 14 knots, up from seven knots. With their additional capacity, and faster speed enabling more sailings per month, the new vessels increase CGR’s potential annual carload capacity by 40 percent.

“These innovative new vessels are purpose-built to provide increased reliability, speed and fuel efficiency and will materially expand the number of annual railcar spaces we can offer customers,” says CGR President Hoffman Lijeron. “Their capacity, efficient hull design, articulated rudders and modern, slow-speed engines will significantly reduce the vessels’ environmental footprint. In fact, compared with a traditional all-rail route from Mobile to Mexico City, shipping via the new CGR vessels and Ferromex is expected to provide a 44% reduction in CO2 emissions per ton/mile versus the all-rail route.”

After launch from CSSC Huangpu Wenchong Shipbuilding Company in China, the vessels will be thoroughly tested, including undergoing sea trials to ensure all systems are operating as designed, before departing for the United States. The new ships are likely the first built with features designed to cope with a pandemic, including segregated passageways for local pilots and other visitors, as well as spaces with separate HVAC systems to quarantine crew. “We’re trying to anticipate all the potential scenarios we could have in the next 20 to 30 years,” Lijeron explains. “If there is anything we’ve learned from the past year, it’s the value of protecting our customers’ supply chains from potential disruptions.

“CGR offers tremendous potential for customers – connecting five Class I railroads and a G&W short line in Mobile to Ferromex in Coatzacoalcos – and I’m excited to lead its growth as a much faster alternative to the traditional land route,” Lijeron continues. “Our investment in constructing these two state-of-the-art vessels is a clear indication of our commitment to becoming the premium freight transportation provider between the United States, Canada and central and southern Mexico.”

About CGR

Established in 2000, CG Railway operates a U.S. Class III freight railroad that currently transports approximately 10,000 carloads of diversified commodities annually across the Gulf of Mexico, with long-term agreements to operate purpose-built rail-ferry terminals in the ports of Mobile, Alabama, and Coatzacoalcos, Mexico. G&W and SEACOR Holdings formed the rail-ferry joint venture that includes CG Railway LLC in 2017, combining the two companies’ unmatched experience in rail and marine transportation and logistics services.

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About Genesee & Wyoming

G&W owns or leases 116 freight railroads organized in locally managed operating regions with 7,300 employees serving 3,000 customers.

  • G&W’s four North American regions serve 42 U.S. states and four Canadian provinces and include 113 short line and regional freight railroads with more than 13,000 track-miles.
  • G&W’s UK/Europe Region includes the U.K.’s largest rail maritime intermodal operator and second-largest freight rail provider, as well as regional rail services in Continental Europe.

G&W subsidiaries and joint ventures also provide rail service at more than 30 major ports, rail-ferry service between the U.S. Southeast and Mexico, transload services, and industrial railcar switching and repair.

About SEACOR Holdings

SEACOR Holdings Inc. is a diversified holding company with interests in domestic and international transportation and logistics, crisis and emergency management, and clean fuel and power solutions. SEACOR is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol CKH.

Certain statements discussed in this release concerning SEACOR Holdings constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Generally, words such as “anticipate,” “estimate,” “expect,” “project,” “intend,” “believe,” “plan,” “target,” “forecast” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are inherently uncertain and subject to a variety of assumptions, risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated or expected by management of the Company. Actual events or results are subject to significant known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other important factors, including, but not limited to, the risks discussed in Item 1A. (Risk Factors) of the Company’s Annual report on Form 10-K and other reports filed by the Company with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). Given these risk factors, investors and analysts should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of the document in which they are made.