For beet sugar, you can’t beat BRG

Published online: Apr 21, 2017 News

“Rail Made Easy” is the OmniTRAX slogan, and it’s working in Brownsville, Tex.

The Brownsville & Rio Grande International Railway (BRG) has won the opportunity to serve CSC Sugar’s new packaging and distribution operation at the Port of Brownsville.

Privately held CSC (annual revenues $250-$500 million) is one of the largest importers and exporters of refined sugar to and from North America, and chose Brownsville for its simultaneous access to BNSF and Union Pacific, thanks to the BRG’s connections with both Class I’s. CSC already has dry transfer and liquid sugar plants in El Paso and Forth Worth, Tex.; Covington, Tenn.; Chicago; and Fairless Hills, Pa. The Brownsville location gives it 242,000 square feet of leased warehouse space at the port to export beet sugar to Africa.

CSC Sugar President Paul Farmer says, “Freight rates to Brownsville are basically the same regardless where you’re coming from, whether it’s from the sugar growing regions in Minnesota or Idaho.” CSC expects to receive up 25 to 30 railcars weekly—the first cars arrived at the Brownsville packaging plant March 22. About 500 tons of sugar daily will be packaged in 50 kilogram bags for export. The combined warehouses will accommodate 25,000 packaged tons of stored sugar. Schaeffer Stevedoring is the selected stevedore; ocean shipping will be via Handymax-type ships, with the first vessel expected to arrive in May.