Intermodal train now in Minot a ‘game changer’ for North Dakota farmers

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Big news for North Dakota farmers: They will be able to more easily ship their products anywhere in the world thanks to a train that’s changing the game.

“This is a dream come true,” said John MacMartin, Minot Area Development Corporation President/CEO.

MacMartin is talking about the intermodal train. It might look like a normal train, but it allows farmers to load their products right here in Minot to be shipped internationally.

“It’s an amazing opportunity to bring intermodal train economics to this rural market because it opens the world up economically for producers to market their commodities and products and other things anywhere,” said Greg Oberting, president of Rail Modal Group.

Before, if farmers wanted to ship their products, they had to pay for containers to be brought in from Minneapolis.

This new, intermodal train will drastically reduce farmers’ shipping costs.

The effort took 20 years, but a partnership between BNSF, Rail Modal Group Minot, AGT and the MADC made it possible.

“It’s exciting to see this finally come to fruition and I just think it’s endless opportunities once you have a stable port here that can ship materials from our backyards to our customers around the world,” said Eric Bartsch, with AGT Foods.

There are 250 containers in Minot right now that will be filled and shipped out west in the next two weeks, and, eventually, shipments will happen weekly.

The governor’s office says farmers can expect their shipping costs to be cut by as much as 25 percent, thanks to the intermodal rail service.

MacMartin says eventually, more companies will come to the area and hire local workers.

AGT works with around 2,000 growers in the North Dakota and Montana region.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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