Rail is often the most economical way to ship, but what if your facility isn’t rail-served? Transload combines the advantages of trucking and rail.

How it Works


Shipment taken from its origin by truck to a transload facility

Shipment loaded onto a railcar

Shipment taken by rail to a transload facility near its destination

Shipment unloaded from the railcar

Shipment taken to its final destination by truck

Combining these methods of transportation offers shippers cost savings, flexibility and the opportunity to expand business and market reach.

What Can Be Transloaded

Dry Bulk: plastics, minerals, aggregates, manufactured products, grains

Liquid Bulk: chemicals, fertilizer, fuels, ethanol, LPG, oils

Dimensional: transformers, wind blades, panel products, lumber, steel, government and heavy machinery

Food Grade: Frozen foods, perishables

Warehouse Commodities: Food and beverage, printing paper, household products

What Types of Facilities?


A facility used for transloading long products such as lumber, steel, rebar and machinery. The most common railcar types used are flatcars, gondolas and centerbeams.


A building with rail unloading capability. Most warehouses specialize in products shipped in boxcars. Some lumber products such as Oriented Strand Board (OSB), plywood and particle board are also transloaded at warehouses.


A facility where dry and liquid products can be transferred from covered hopper cars or tank cars. Products frequently transloaded at bulk facilities include plastic pellets, flour, minerals, cement, acids and ethanol.

BNSF Transload Services

With access to over 400 facilities across our network, BNSF Transload Services enables businesses to take advantage of rail’s cost savings and efficiencies even if the freight delivery destination isn’t located on rail.


Find a Transloader

Our network of premier transloaders offers many services including cross docking, storage and forward storing, load consolidation and inventory management.

To learn more about how a BNSF Premier Transloader can work for you, Connect with BNSF .

Transload Resources

Interested in becoming a BNSF Transloader? Register your facility in BNSF’s database.