Iowa Northern, UP launch West Coast-Iowa international intermodal service

Watco, logistics firm Valor Victoria also part of service from new intermodal facility in Shell Rock, Iowa
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SHELL ROCK, Iowa — The new Butler Intermodal Terminal in Shell Rock will be the hub for an internationally focused intermodal service to be offered by Iowa Northern Railway, Union Pacific, Watco Cos., and logistics firm Valor Victoria.

The service will launch in December. It is designed to provide an alternative to larger Midwest rail hubs and provide a cost-competitive option reducing long-haul trucking miles. Union Pacific will bring eastbound intermodal shipments from the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach for interchange with the Iowa Northern for delivery to the Butler terminal. Export shipments will benefit from a consistent supply of international containers.

“Iowa Northern is thrilled to be part of this remarkable new service product for Iowa industries seeking strategic solutions to maintain a competitive global presence in the marketplace,” Daniel Sabin, Iowa Northern Railway president, said in a press release.

Watco will provide and staff in-terminal operations and coordinate transloading activities for customers loading containers for export through the West Coast ports. Customers interested in the new service should contact Valor Victoria at

“We are excited to be part of a solution that embodies our Customer First culture. Coupled with our tremendous partners, Union Pacific, Iowa Northern Railway. and Valor Victoria, we are positioned to provide a cost-effective service solution that our customers deserve,” Dan Smith, Watco CEO, said in the release.

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