Winters Rail Newsletter #7: Rail Creates A Path For Infrastructure Opportunities

Apr 16, 2021

April 16, 2021 – Update #7

The Winters Rail Terminal is on track, and we appreciate your interest in this important project. In this issue of the newsletter, we discuss the impending closure of the Brookhaven Landfill in 2024 and the looming waste crisis on Long Island. For more information, visit our website!

Rail Provides A Clear Path Forward For Long Island

There is a need for a substantial increase in rail transportation infrastructure to manage deliveries and shipments to and from Long Island.

Currently, 19 percent of freight is moved by rail in the Northeast while less than 2 percent of freight moves by rail on Long Island.

A shift towards increased rail-focused capacity has the dual benefit of being reliable and a more sustainable form of transportation. The use of rail would significantly decrease the number of trucks on the road per year, reducing overall traffic congestions. Reducing truck traffic will lower air pollution on Long Island.

Increased infrastructure and capacity will be needed to address Long Island’s waste needs when the Brookhaven Landfill closes. Infrastructure takes time to develop, and work needs to begin today to address future issues. The proactive implementation of high-tech warehousing will ensure that the waste management systems currently in place are elevated to meet the growing demand. High-tech warehousing capacity will also positively impact the chain of operations for the ever-growing eCommerce industry in several ways which include:

  • The majority of modern eCommerce retailers need a dependable solution for exceptionally fast deliveries. As more consumers utilize online shopping platforms, companies must work to improve their supply chain distribution system.

  • Online retailers are in a race to serve all consumers, whether they are ordering clothes, furniture, food, or beverages, all of which require high-quality logistics facilities.

  • The retail industry is rapidly changing, and retailers are getting smarter about their last-mile solutions to compete with the biggest players, like eCommerce conglomerate Amazon.

  • For retailers that offer same-day delivery, at least 25 percent of consumers pay for that upgrade.

  • The consumer demand for increased eCommerce and the desire for same-day delivery have driven the need for modern high-tech warehouses near populous areas that allow retailers to transport items to customers as quickly as possible.

The following are key features for selecting high-tech warehouse locations:

  • Location – Logistics facilities located near major railways and highways can deliver to more destinations.

  • Proximity to Customers – In New York State, proximity to Long Island is a major logistical advantage. Certain areas of Long Island are ideal for last-mile distribution.

  • Cross-Dock Capacities – To resolve among the largest challenges facing the food and beverage industry, last-mile facilities will enhance their cross-dock abilities. Cross-docking, the method of receiving incoming goods from a truck or railcar and immediately loading the shipments into an outbound form of transportation, allows for the successful transport of materials while eliminating the need for the storage of food and beverages in the interim between receipt and shipment.

  • Sound Building Quality – Most logistics properties are 50 years or older. Their electric and architectural capabilities are stressed and limited. They are developed for services of the past. Today, high quantities of goods need to be delivered daily. Stores must choose buildings that have the functions that permit reliable throughput or construct residential or commercial properties that meet this need. Similarly, high ceiling heights accommodate modern vertical racking systems, an important consideration for the last mile.

  • Efficiency Through Technology – Over 30 percent of delivery costs are incurred during the last mile which can be attributed to gas and labor. Therefore, if a company can cut gas and provide additional eco-friendly solutions, this will give it an edge over its competitors.

Overall, retailers selecting a last-mile distribution center on Long Island will find that the area provides a significant logistical advantage over competitors. Notably, a distribution center that has close proximity to both customers and railroads to perform fast-paced deliveries.