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FONTANA, CA-BNSF Railway Co. has begun work on a 38-acre logistics center at the Kaiser Commerce Center that it will operate in conjunction with an 849,000-sf rail-served warehouse that the ProLogis REIT is already developing on behalf of the railway company. The logistics center is scheduled to be operating by the end of the year.

The new Fontana facility is one of a number of BNSF logistics centers that the railway company is developing in markets around the country to combine warehousing, storage, railway car service and transloading, which is the transfer of freight from railway cars to trucks or from trucks to railway cars. The local center is expected to do a big business in shipping a broad variety of types of freight, ranging from bulk items like lumber and steel to all kinds of consumer goods.

The facility’s location is near other existing rail-served facilities and is on a railroad spur with direct access to the BNSF main line. Fritz Draper, a VP for business development at BNSF, explains that the logistics center will simplify rail shipping operations by creating the capability to build trains at the one centralized facility instead of gathering rail cars at several smaller ones.

BNSF Railway is a subsidiary of publicly held Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp. Its new facility is being built by general contractor Kemp Bros. Construction Inc. BNSF and ProLogis have joined in a marketing effort to attract rail-oriented users to the new distribution facility and to BNSF’s transload facility, which will provide immediate access to the interchange of the Interstate 10 and Interstate 15 freeways, through which an estimated 40% of California truck traffic enters and leaves the state.

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