( Courtesy Cold Connect/File )

Cold Connect, a Union Pacific Railroad program that shipped fresh produce and other perishables across the country, has fallen victim to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The program, a service through Union Pacific’s Loop Logistics subsidiary, moved fresh products including apples and onions. Union Pacific offered the service in 2017, when the company acquired the assets of Railex, renaming the refrigerated transport service Cold Connect.

Union Pacific notified employees on May 8 that Cold Connect was closing down permanently and all positions had been eliminated, according to a statement from the railroad.

May 8 was the last day Cold Connect accepted inbound orders.

“This decision was not made lightly,” according to the statement. “Since acquiring the Railex assets in 2017, employees diligently worked to grow volumes and create a platform for the future; however, with COVID-19 impacting volume and truck prices, it is no longer sustainable to continue operations.”

The service carried fresh produce from western terminals in Delano., Calif., and Wallula, Wash., and delivered them to Union Pacific’s warehouse in Rotterdam, N.Y.
According to the Cold Connect website, the service was designed to also move pears, potatoescitrus, broccoli, stone fruit and cantaloupes.

To see more coverage of how the pandemic is affecting the industry, see The Packer's COVID-19 webpage.

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