What Is ‘Maersk’ And Why Are Their Train Cars All Over Duluth + Superior?
I don't need to tell you this, but there are a lot of railroad tracks, yards, and traffic in the Twin Ports area. With the shipping port of Duluth-Superior right here in our backyard, it's a natural industry to go side-by-side with it.
Naturally, those tracks need cross roadways eventually. And, with the proliferation of tracks in Duluth and Superior, getting "trained" is a common occurrence. Hey - "it is what it is".
You have a lot of time to spare when you're waiting in a car stopped for a train. And as the engines and the train cars go by, you can't help but read what's on the side of them.
Aside from the graffiti that proliferates most transit train cars, you also have the chance to see a lot of company names. Some of those names are familiar and have long-standing ties to the Northland region: CN. BNSF. CP. US Steel (or, USX). Most of these names are instantly familiar to someone who's lived in the area for any length of time.
Some of those company names on the sides of train cars aren't as easy to place. Recently it dawned on me that I'm always encountering the name 'Maersk' on the sides of train cars that roll through the Twin Ports. In fact, I see that company name more often than it seems I see others. So it got me wondering: What exactly is the Maersk company, who do they do, and why is their name on so many train cars in our area?
Well for starters, the company has been around for a while and their footprint is rather large. The Maersk company has its origins in Denmark. According to a summary description of what the company does, they are "active in ocean and inland freight transportation and associated services, such as supply chain management and port operation".
That business model makes it a natural thing to see their railroad container cars on the trains that travel from and through the Duluth-Superior area. This is especially true when you take into account that Maersk is considered "the largest container shipping line and vessel operator in the world". Their website offers the fact that they "move 12 million containers every year and deliver to every corner of the globe".
Chances are, those Maersk railroad cars that you see on the trains that roll through our community are in reality shipping containers; and, the content inside of them was transported in the same container its in now. Maersk utilizes those shipping containers that are easily loaded on and off ships, and then placed onto railroad base cars for intercontinental transport.
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