Railex LLC is ending service to the Southeast but expects a future return.
The Riverhead, N.Y.-based rail logistics transporter of refrigerated perishables plans to cease operations in Jacksonville, Fla., by Aug. 13.
The company is scheduled to take orders through Aug. 6 and then stop running additional cars into the facility as it transitions to closing, said Paul Esposito, executive vice president of corporate affairs.
Rumors of the closing had been circulating since mid- to late July.
The company felt it was in its best interest to reassess the Southeast receiving location and close the Jacksonville location, he said.
Esposito said Railex was unable to properly structure its operations at the undersized Jacksonville building it was operating from through a short-term lease.
Railex is working with the Union Pacific and CSX railroads to identify a service plan that will allow timely deliveries to Southeastern customers through a new location, he said.
Esposito said the company hopes to strike a service agreement within the coming months.
The Jacksonville location was intended to be a temporary solution to satisfy customers that had long demanded Southeastern service, he said.
"For various reasons beyond our control, Railex could not run the traditional unit-type train service into Jacksonville," Esposito said. "The transit times were two days longer than what we had planned and what our customers expected. Now, two years later, during the peak summer season, with transit variabilities as well as the decline in truck rates, we find it difficult to sustain any significant volume into the area."
The carrier transported apples, carrots, onions, potatoes and wine to receivers via 64-foot refrigerated railcars.
Railex ships from Delano, Calif., and Wallula, Wash., and unloads and distributes at a Rotterdam, N.Y., refrigerated warehouse near Schenectady, N.Y.
The company opened the Jacksonville location in June 2014.